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Kodak lowers 2008 forecast

October 31, 2008|Times Wire Services

Eastman Kodak Co., already slim from retooling for the digital age, said it was slashing its full-year profit and sales forecast and eliminating more jobs because of the global credit crisis. Its stock fell nearly 6%.

The pullback by the photography pioneer overshadowed third-quarter results -- its profit more than doubled even as its sales dropped 5%. Driven by digital cameras, picture frames and inkjet printers, the Rochester, N.Y., company earned $96 million, or 33 cents a share, up from $37 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, notably a 31-cent gain from cutting medical coverage for retirees, its profit of 22 cents a share on sales of $2.41 billion fell short of Wall Street's expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of 28 cents a share and sales of $2.53 billion.

Kodak now expects 2008 operating profit to range from $200 million to $250 million. In a revised forecast in August, it called for operating profit to come in at the low end of its prior estimated range of $400 million to $500 million.

The profit shortfall will bring targeted layoffs over the next few months -- depending partly on Kodak's performance in the winter holiday season.

"Some businesses will have much better projections for 2009 than others, and that is the way we will make those cuts," Chief Executive Antonio Perez said in a statement.

Kodak also lowered its outlook for full-year revenue growth, forecasting a decline of 3% to 5% from 2007 sales of $10.3 billion and digital sales growth of 1% to 4%. It previously estimated revenue would be flat to up 2%, with digital sales up 7% to 10%.

Kodak shares fell 62 cents, or 5.7%, to $10.22.

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