ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Driven by a surge in sales of digital cameras, photo kiosks and health-imaging products, Eastman Kodak Co. (EK) posted a 37 percent jump in second-quarter profit on Wednesday and handily beat Wall Street forecasts.
The world's biggest film manufacturer, which is navigating a tough transition to digital photography, also raised its profit guidance for all of 2004. It also said its previously-disclosed plans to cut jobs is running ahead of schedule.
Helped by the dollar's weakness abroad, Kodak earned $154 million, or 54 cents a share, in the April-June period, up from $112 million, or 39 cents a share, a year ago.
Excluding restructuring costs — Kodak is in the midst of cutting up to 15,000 jobs — earnings from operations were $253 million or 88 cents a share. That easily beat the consensus forecast of 59 cents among analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.
Sales rose 6 percent to $3.47 billion from $3.26 billion a year ago.
Kodak is reshaping itself by integrating a wide range of new digital businesses and acquiring others over the next three years. It also is having to cope with a sharp drop in sales of traditional film.
Kodak now expects operating profits in 2004 of between $2.39 and $2.69 a share, up from its previous guidance of $2.15 and $2.45 a share.
During the second quarter, sales of all digital products jumped 48 percent while revenue from chemical-based products fell 8 percent.
Sales in the digital and film imaging division rose 2 percent to $2.4 billion. Operating profits totaled $230 million, up from $119 million a year ago.
Worldwide sales of consumer digital cameras, accessories and memory products leaped 91 percent and revenues from photo kiosks and related products surged 93 percent. Health imaging sales rose 11 percent to $672 million, but commercial printing sales fell 3 percent to $193 million.
The company axed about 6,000 jobs last year and, in January, announced plans to eliminate an additional 12,000 to 15,000 jobs by 2007. That will trim its worldwide work force to World War II-era levels of around 50,000.
It now plans to cut some 3,500 to 4,400 jobs this year — up from an earlier range of 2,500 to 3,500.