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updated: 7/26/2011 8:01 AM

Kodak posts wider 2Q loss on lower revenue

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Associated Press

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Eastman Kodak Co. said Tuesday that its second-quarter loss widened to $179 million as a sharp rise in sales of consumer inkjet printers was more than offset by slumping revenue from digital cameras and film.

The photography and printing company also projected a bigger loss for all of 2011 than it previously forecast.

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Its shares fell 8 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $2.25 in premarket trading.

Kodak said its fourth consecutive quarterly loss amounted to 67 cents a share in the April-to-June period. That compares with a loss of $168 million, or 63 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $1.49 billion.

The results missed Wall Street expectations. Excluding items, Kodak said it lost 62 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected an adjusted loss of 59 cents on revenue of $1.56 billion.

Revenue from its digital businesses was little changed at $1.09 billion, but film group revenue fell 14 percent to $396 million.

Sales of commercial and consumer inkjet printers, workflow software and packaging rose by a combined 22 percent in the quarter, led by 48 percent growth in home printers and ink.

The four businesses remain a bright spot in the 131-year-old company's long and painful drive to recast itself by 2012 into a profitable player in the cutthroat digital arena.

However, Kodak said it now expects 2011 segment losses of $100 million to $300 million, down from a previous projection ranging from breakeven to a loss of $200 million.

It also projects a loss from continuing operations of $200 million to $400 million. That's up from earlier projections of a loss from continuing operations of $100 million to $300 million.

Its revenue forecast of $6.4 billion to $6.7 billion remains unchanged.

Since 2004, Kodak has reported only one full year profit -- in 2007 -- and anticipates another annual loss this year before crossing back to profitability sometime in 2012. It has trimmed its work force to 18,800 from 70,000 in 2002.

Kodak's sales of low-end cameras have been hurt by stiff competition from smartphones and video cameras and by its recent shift to pricier models.

But operating losses in its consumer digital imaging division narrowed to $92 million from $123 million a year earlier on higher camera and printer ink profits. The segment's sales slid 8 percent to $404 million.

Graphic communications sales rose 4 percent to $685 million. But investments in commercial inkjet printing and rising raw material costs widened its operating losses to $45 million from $17 million a year earlier.

Kodak expects to turn its first profit from home inkjet printers late this year, and its commercial line of printers is targeted to turn profitable in 2012.

Kodak is banking on replacing the huge profits it once made from film with ink revenue. More than 3 million people already own Kodak home inkjet printers, and analysts estimate 5.3 million units will be installed by year-end.

Investors are focusing intensely on Kodak's strategy of brokering licenses or settlements from its trove of digital-imaging patents. It didn't pick intellectual-property payments in the quarter but still expects to haul in $250 million to $350 million in revenue this year.

Kodak has been burning through cash as it invests in digital inkjet printer businesses that are expected to turn their first profit this year. It had $1.3 billion in cash at the end of March, down from $1.6 billion in December.

The company said it now expects to have a year-end cash balance of $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion, down from a previous projection of $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion.

Mining its 1,100 digital-imaging inventions for repeated cash infusions has become an indispensable tactic driven in large part by Kodak's digital turnaround. Since 2008, it has generated almost $2 billion in licensing fees and royalties.

Kodak is suing iPhone maker Apple Inc. and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd., saying their smartphone camera features infringe on image-preview technology it patented in 2001.

The case before the U.S. International Trade Commission, a trade-dispute forum that can block imports of patent-infringing products, has been extended until at least Aug. 30. Kodak is trying to negotiate a licensing deal it estimates could be worth up to $1 billion.

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