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Kodak Posts 6th Straight Quarterly Loss
Old 05-04-2006   #1
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Kodak Posts 6th Straight Quarterly Loss

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060504/.../earns_kodak_3

Eastman Kodak Co., undergoing a bumpy transition to digital photography, posted a wider $298 million loss in the first quarter Thursday — its sixth quarterly loss in a row — and is considering possibly selling its fabled health-imaging business.

Largely because of restructuring costs, Kodak lost the equivalent of $1.04 in the January-March quarter, compared with a loss of $146 million, or 51 cents a share, a year ago.

Sales rose 2 percent to $2.89 billion from $2.83 billion in last year's first quarter.

Excluding one-time items, Kodak lost $99 million, or 34 cents a share. That compared with a consensus forecast of a 5-cent profit among analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Kodak shares fell 14 cents to $27.21 in premarket trading.

While stung again by the rapid slide in film sales, Kodak found some solace in its steady drive into the digital era. Its overall digital sales in the quarter surged 29 percent to $1.6 billion, while revenues from film, paper and other traditional, chemical-based businesses slumped 20 percent to $1.26 billion.

Last summer, the 126-year-old company disclosed plans to lay off 10,000 employees on top of 12,000 to 15,000 job cuts targeted in January 2004.

Kodak said it is "exploring strategic alternatives" for its Health Group, maker of X-ray film, medical printers and other health-imaging products and services. Those alternatives include a partnership, an outright sale and other options, said spokesman David Lanzillo. The division, which had revenues of $2.7 billion in 2005, was created a year after the discovery of X-ray film in 1895.

While the business "is enjoying strong organic growth in elements of its digital portfolio ... we have been observing for some time consolidation in this industry," Kodak's chief executive, Antonio Perez, said in a statement. "Given our valuable assets and the changing market landscape, we feel that now is the time to investigate strategic alternatives."

Kodak sped past a historic milestone last year by generating more annual sales from digital imaging than from film-based photography, but its ability to churn out digital profits is proving trickier. The company said in January it expects to post an overall operating loss of $500 million to $850 million in 2006.

Kodak said Thursday it expects digital profits to grow to $350 million to $450 million this year and digital sales to rise by 16 percent to 22 percent.

The company acknowledged in September 2003 that its analog businesses were in irreversible decline and outlined an ambitious strategy to become a digital heavyweight in photography, medical imaging and commercial printing by 2007.

The transition triggered nearly $3 billion in acquisitions. But the shutdown of film and other manufacturing operations around the world looks likely to drop its global work force below 50,000, down from 75,100 in 2001 and a peak of 145,300 in 1988.

Higher industry-wide retailer inventories and lower prices for thermal media hurt Kodak's consumer digital sales, and its operating loss in the segment widened to $94 million from $58 million a year ago while sales dropped 10 percent to $498 million.

Film and photofinishing sales slumped to $916 million from $1.27 billion a year ago while operating profits dropped to $29 million from $71 million.

Health imaging sales fell 7 percent to $585 million, and operating earnings dipped to $46 million from $78 million, mostly because of lower earnings from traditional radiography film and higher silver costs. That was partially offset by improved earnings in computed radiography, healthcare information systems and digital radiography, but digital earnings fell to $17 million from $33 million a year ago.

In contrast, graphic communications sales jumped 136 percent to $870 million, driven by its $980 million buyout of Canada's Creo Inc., and operating earnings reached $31 million, compared with a loss of $34 million a year ago.
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Old 05-04-2006   #2
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This is what they get for discontinuing Kodachrome 25!

It's a big wake up - however big you are, you can be brought low quickly if you lose contact with ability to anticipate and meet market needs. How long before we start seeing stories like this about Microsoft?
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Old 05-04-2006   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lushd
This is what they get for discontinuing Kodachrome 25!

It's a big wake up - however big you are, you can be brought low quickly if you lose contact with ability to anticipate and meet market needs. How long before we start seeing stories like this about Microsoft?
The slide down started down when they discontinued Panatomic X .
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Old 05-04-2006   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lushd
It's a big wake up - however big you are, you can be brought low quickly if you lose contact with ability to anticipate and meet market needs. How long before we start seeing stories like this about Microsoft?

I can't wait to see it happen to Microsoft, but I doubt it'd be anytime soon.

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Old 05-04-2006   #5
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Now I don't believe one word about the "bright future"(my words) or "strategic alternatives"(their words) from my own experience that the medical profession is going digital- big time. There are practically no chemical x-ray setups being sold, or even offered on the market any more and the only sales Kodak can expect in the coming decade are chemicals to a dwindling goup of users that haven't yet upgraded, unless they can penetrate the sensor market, which is not an easy thing to do.This is a fighting market, with Philips of the Netherlands and Great Britain, Toshiba of Japan, Soredex of Finland, Trophy of the USA to name a few. Kodak will have quite a job to squeeze in. Ever seen a Kodak X-ray machine? I haven't.
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Old 05-04-2006   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv
Now I don't believe one word about the "bright future"(my words) or "strategic alternatives"(their words) from my own experience that the medical profession is going digital- big time. There are practically no chemical x-ray setups being sold, or even offered on the market any more and the only sales Kodak can expect in the coming decade are chemicals to a dwindling goup of users that haven't yet upgraded, unless they can penetrate the sensor market, which is not an easy thing to do.
Kodak is one of the largest manufacturers of imaging sensors in the world.
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Old 05-04-2006   #7
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Kodak is one of the largest manufacturers of imaging sensors in the world.
Yes- but only as a parts supplier and not a medical specialist which is a pretty complex market as well. I should have been more clear, I was referring to their medical division.
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Old 05-04-2006   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lushd
This is what they get for discontinuing Kodachrome 25!

It's a big wake up - however big you are, you can be brought low quickly if you lose contact with ability to anticipate and meet market needs. How long before we start seeing stories like this about Microsoft?
And how would you explain Fuji's big losses in film, posted in the off-topic area on Monday?

I'm always amazed. Someone smashes into some guy's car and then gets out and says "That's what you get for not buying American." Like the two are somehow linked.

Kodak's continuing losses in film are because of flagging film sales worldwide, which is what put Ilford into receivership, Agfa out of business, and now Fuji is closing film manufacturing plants and reporting similar film-based losses.

And it is because Kodak discontinued Kodachrome 25?

Ah, I'm sure you were joking and I just missed it. That has to be it, right?

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Old 05-04-2006   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv
Yes- but only as a parts supplier and not a medical specialist which is a pretty complex market as well. I should have been more clear, I was referring to their medical division.
Yes, they are losing bigtime in that arena. However, they are doing good business in digital offset printing, and that business is looking up.

Kodak made a lot of mistakes for a long time, wasted early leads in digital technology, and floundered around for far too long. Now they are trying very hard to turn that ship - don't know if they will or won't, but I hope they do.

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Old 05-04-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
And it is because Kodak discontinued Kodachrome 25?

Ah, I'm sure you were joking and I just missed it. That has to be it, right?
Glad to know I'm not the only one who missed the joke.

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Old 05-04-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Touchon
The slide down started down when they discontinued Panatomic X .
It seemed losing the Polaroid lawsuit was the point in which the slide began. Kodak never seemed to get up off the mat after being kicked in the taco on that one.




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Old 05-04-2006   #12
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Sorry to say I have not helped Kodak sales much. I did like their Elitechrome films and stocked up on them. Have not bought a Kodak camera since I had one of their 110 cameras many years ago...Nothing else they make interests me. Other films I have been using have come from Fuji for the last 15 years. I think they make some decent, very easy to use digital cameras, but who would know? I never see any Kodak advertising. Maybe they need a blimp like Fuji...Oh my girlfriend uses Kodak mailers for slide processing. They must have laid off a bunch of people there too since it can take 2-3 weeks to get them back...
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Old 05-04-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob
Sorry to say I have not helped Kodak sales much. I did like their Elitechrome films and stocked up on them. Have not bought a Kodak camera since I had one of their 110 cameras many years ago...Nothing else they make interests me.
I like Tri-X. Still one of the best and most versatile B&W films ever. But everyone has their own preferences. I also liked Kodak Gold 100, but it is hard to find now, and 200 is not the same.

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Other films I have been using have come from Fuji for the last 15 years.
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I think they make some decent, very easy to use digital cameras, but who would know?
All the Joe Sixpacks who buy digicams?

Kodak is #1 in digital camera sales in the USA, for 2004, 2005, and looking good for 2006. More than Canon (2nd), more than all the others. The big problem is that they don't make anywhere near the per-unit margin that Canon does, so they make less on far more sales.

http://www.forbes.com/infoimaging/20...0425kodak.html

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Research firm IDC says the company led the U.S. digital camera market in 2005 with nearly 25% in sales. In the international market, where the brand is less recognizable, the company was third behind Canon's 17% and Sony's (nyse: SNE - news - people ) 15%.
NOTE: By the way, I've mentioned this before on RFF and been called a liar - hence the link above.

I know you and I don't buy our cameras at Walmart, but Kodak is #1 with a bullet there, and that's where so many shop. If they can get their profit margin working, they've got the name and the positioning.

Quote:
I never see any Kodak advertising. Maybe they need a blimp like Fuji...Oh my girlfriend uses Kodak mailers for slide processing. They must have laid off a bunch of people there too since it can take 2-3 weeks to get them back...
Kodak also cut sponsorship of the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, which was a real shame.

I agree, they've done a poor job of advertising themselves. I'm not sure that they need to do that right now as much as they need to beef up their digital camera profit margins while holding onto that #1 sales position.

Gotta remember who Kodak is selling to - Joe Sixpack and his family. That's where the money is. I know that sucks hard, but it is what it is.

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Old 05-04-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayPA
It seemed losing the Polaroid lawsuit was the point in which the slide began. Kodak never seemed to get up off the mat after being kicked in the taco on that one.
Polaroid kinda failed to follow up on that big cash influx as well. Shame, really. Polaroid was one of the great US companies - well run, employees loved coming to work. There's a novel in there somewhere - how Polaroid management pissed away the best company that ever was.

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Old 05-04-2006   #15
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Near my midtown office there is a new Kodak Digital "concept" store. It isn't intended to be profitable per se, but is more like a marketing tool (I wouldn't be surprised if it being financed by the Marketing Dept.) to show the "modern face" of the company.

Most of the products are simply Kodak-branded photgraphic "accessories" such as 8x10 picture frames etc. They also have a display of various memory cards which I assume they hope to sell like film cannisters?

All in all, while flashy, it really didn't leave me with the impression they had much of anything to offer that I couldn't get at either a Hallmark Store or Staples.

This company is very confused - a break-up is very likely. Medical imaging first then film, paper and chemical divisions etc.
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Old 05-04-2006   #16
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Bill - the Kodachrome 25 thing was a joke. But I liked it. I also liked Agfa CT18 and CT 21. And that GAF 400 stuff. I also dabbled in Orwochrome for a bit.
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Old 05-04-2006   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lushd
Bill - the Kodachrome 25 thing was a joke. But I liked it. I also liked Agfa CT18 and CT 21. And that GAF 400 stuff. I also dabbled in Orwochrome for a bit.
I kinda thought it was. But you never know. I've heard sillier things said in all seriousness.

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Old 05-04-2006   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
I kinda thought it was. But you never know. I've heard sillier things said in all seriousness.

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Hear, hear. At some time, boardrooms around the world must have resounded to cries of "APS will save us all! Hurrah!"
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Old 05-04-2006   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lushd
Hear, hear. At some time, boardrooms around the world must have resounded to cries of "APS will save us all! Hurrah!"
I thought it was disc cameras. LOL!

Kodak could afford to be a complacent giant for a long time. They even allowed R&D money to be spent on that wild crazy thing called digital imaging. They had some great breakthroughs, and they own some fantastic patents that they license.

They were not the only ones to fail to see how quickly film sales would trend downwards - everybody in the industry blew that one out their butts. But they were one of the slowest to react, and when they did, it was almost with arrogance - first by assuming that their leadership position would remain, and second by thinking they could drive the market until they were good and ready to make the switch.

Well, they came very close to losing their lunch on that one. And they still may. But they know it now, and they're doing all they can to pull that rudder to one side. They've already jettisoned most of the moribund upper management who didn't get it and replaced them with digital computer whiz kids. But those same whiz kids don't 'love' the Kodak brand. To them, it is just a company to be made profitable or split up and sold, no emotion at all. So some bad with the good.

Like I said, they might and they might not make it. I hope they do.

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Old 05-04-2006   #20
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I hope they do too. Their genius when they started was in making technology accessible to millions. It would have been great if they had come up with the digital "Brownie" before anyone else.
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Old 05-04-2006   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lushd
Bill - the Kodachrome 25 thing was a joke. But I liked it. I also liked Agfa CT18 and CT 21. And that GAF 400 stuff. I also dabbled in Orwochrome for a bit.
I thought it was more like a cynical curse!
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Old 05-04-2006   #22
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Personally, I believe that when they dropped thick emulsion films such as Super-XX they started falling over the cliff. K25 and Panatomic-X were just confirmations. There was a ray of hope with Kodachrome 400 (T-grain based), but that emulsion never made it to market.
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Old 05-04-2006   #23
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It's weird when huge, massively brainy companies do all kinds of fundamental research and then, as though they don't believe their own stuff, fail to capitalize on it. Xerox invented the Windows concept, IBM came up with the PC but forgot (darn!) to insist on keeping at least a piece of the operating system, AT&T is now an Atlanta-based front for a low-tech phone system, Kodak knew what digital could do, and developed many of the tools and techniques, but somehow got caught flat-footed when it did it, GM and Ford have been sliding into the crapper for 40 years, even though German and Japanese companies are now building factories in the South for the low-cost, high-skills work force...when I first came to the Twin Cities, the biggest employer other than 3M was Control Data. Oops. They were right across the road from Cray Computers. Oops.

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Old 05-04-2006   #24
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I don't think Porsches have cupholders except for the aberrant Cayenne.

Isn't film, though sliding in sales, the only profitable part of Kodak now? Just a guess.
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Old 05-04-2006   #25
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Film and photofinishing sales slumped to $916 million from $1.27 billion a year ago while operating profits dropped to $29 million from $71 million.

Read the numbers film and photofinishing sales are dwindling. Kodak is a conglomerate with a finger in many pies. The trouble with being Big Yellow is that $29 million in profits from film and photofinishing doesn't go very far.

I miss Verichrome Pan and will miss Tri-X when its gone, but honestly Kodak doesn't have a substainable plan to make film over the long haul. It may be a godsend for their rivals still in the business for Big Yellow to bail sooner than later.
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Old 05-04-2006   #26
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Ironic that the world's leading film products manufacturer created many of the digital imaging technology that seems to be doing them in at this time...

The single largest cosumer of film products now is the motion picture / cinema industry for them, and Kodak is actively developing filmless next generation digital cinema technologies with various industry partners...

As others here say, do they actually know what to do with the technologies they're developing? Or will others end up enjoying the fruits of Kodak's labor?

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Old 05-04-2006   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solinar
Film and photofinishing sales slumped to $916 million from $1.27 billion a year ago while operating profits dropped to $29 million from $71 million.
Forget about what film you like or wish was never dropped and think about this financially.

3.17% operating profits which is before tax and interest. This is VERY serious. You can earn more than this in municipal bonds with NO RISK. Kodak MUST improve margins on sales through a variety of methods to stay afloat. The shareholders will force the board to change this type of profitability or get others in place that will improve it by whatever means necessary (including closing or selling off entire divisions to stem the bleeding).

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Old 05-04-2006   #28
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Forget about what film you like or wish was never dropped and think about this financially.

3.17% operating profits which is before tax and interest. This is VERY serious. You can earn more than this in municipal bonds with NO RISK. Kodak MUST improve margins on sales through a variety of methods to stay afloat. The shareholders will force the board to change this type of profitability or get others in place that will improve it by whatever means necessary (including closing or selling off entire divisions to stem the bleeding).

Ray
They claim to be investigating selling off their 100+ year old medical imaging unit, which could wipe out the 2.6 billion (yes Buh-illion) dollar debt they service. Perez claims that the turnaround plan will put Kodak losing a total for the FY 2005 of something like 800 to 900 million and shrink that in 2007, with profit within five years after that. It is tough times, no doubt. But the market seems to approve of their strategy - they're currently up six bucks from their 52-week low.

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Old 05-04-2006   #29
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Still, looking on the bright side, I insist -- INSIST -- that America still leads the world in automotive cup-holder technology. You ever try to use a cup-holder in a Porsche?

JC
I'll take the cupholders in my CR-V any day.
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