Thursday, January 29, 2009

Brutal fourth-quarter for Kodak

It was a not a good finish to 2008 at all for Kodak. Fourth-quarter total sales were off by 24%. This led to a $137 million loss for the quarter, compared to a $215 million profit a year ago. Document Imaging was not cited specifically as one of the poor performers, but the Graphics Communications business (hurt by a softer commercial printing market), where Document Imaging resides, posted a $4 million operating loss, compared to a $30 million profit a year ago. This was the result of sales falling 14%.

In conjunction with the year-end report, which dropped the company's stock more than 20% to just over $5 per share, Kodak also announced up to 4,500 upcoming layoffs, or 14-18% of the entire staff. We understand some of those layoffs are already affecting Document Imaging. We're not sure how this is all going to reconcile with the Bowe Bell + Howell Scanner acquisition the is supposed to close before the end of the quarter and the jobs that have apparently been promised to BBH employees.

We'll be catching up with Kodak Document Imaging execs at next month's Kodak Executive Summit in San Antonio.

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