Earnings: Proctor & Gamble, Eastman Kodak, Visteon

Earnings: Procter & Gamble | Eastman Kodak | Visteon

Procter & Gamble Profit Jumps 33 Percent

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) posted a 33 percent jump in quarterly profit on Tuesday as the addition of products like Gillette razors led to strong sales growth, and slightly raised its profit view for the year, citing lower-than-expected commodity and energy costs.

P&G, which makes everything from Pampers diapers to Iams dog food, earned $2.7 billion, or 79 cents per share, in the fiscal first quarter ended September 30, compared to a profit of $2.03 billion, or 77 cents, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 78 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates. In September, Cincinnati-based P&G stood by its own forecast, calling for earnings 76 cents to 78 cents per share.

Sales soared 27 percent to $18.79 billion, driven by new items such as a redesigned line of Herbal Essences hair care products and the addition of Gillette's razors, batteries and toothbrushes.

P&G now expects to earn $2.97 to $3.02 per share this year, including a hit of 12 cents to 18 cents per share from Gillette. Previously, P&G expected to earn $2.96 to $3.00 per share, including the same impact from Gillette.

Shares of P&G have set several new highs during the past few months as the company began combining its operations with those of Gillette. P&G shares have risen 3 percent since the beginning of October, compared with a nearly 3.5 percent rise in the Dow Jones industrial average, of which it is a component.

Eastman Kodak Posts Smaller Loss

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Photography company Eastman Kodak Co. (EK) on Tuesday said its quarterly loss narrowed from a year earlier, when it took a $778 million tax-related charge, and revenue fell as traditional film sales declined 19 percent.

The world's top maker of photographic film, which is undergoing a lengthy and expensive transformation into a maker of digital cameras and printing products and services, posted a net loss of $37 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with $914 million, or $3.18 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring costs and other special items, the company reported a profit of 44 cents a share, exceeding the analysts' average expectation of 19 cents. Analysts' views ranged from 8 cents to 30 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Analysts have found it difficult to measure Kodak's overall health due to the constant restructuring over the past three years. While some units have grown and added workers, others are cutting operations and jobs.

Third-quarter revenue slipped to $3.2 billion from $3.55 billion, missing the analysts' view of $3.28 billion.

Digital earnings rose to $105 million from $7 million a year earlier.

Kodak, which cut its full-revenue outlook on August 1, said it was confident it could meet its 2006 digital earnings goals, but digital revenue growth would be somewhat below its 10 percent target as a result of its plan to focus on products that yield higher profits.

One year ago, Kodak posted a large noncash charge to write down of the value of deferred tax assets as a result of current and expected U.S. losses from its extensive restructuring launched in January 2004.

Since late 2003, Kodak has focused on digital devices, hoping to outpace the drop in demand for film, historically its main revenue source. At the same time, it is reducing costs by cutting up to 27,000 jobs and trimming manufacturing.

Kodak shares closed on Monday at $23.75 on the New York Stock Exchange. Although the revenue warning had sent the stock down 14 percent, the shares have more than recovered since then, rising about 24 percent.

Visteon Loss Narrows

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Auto parts maker Visteon Corp. (VC) on Tuesday posted a narrower quarterly loss under vehicle production cuts by North American customers and said it would cut 900 salaried jobs mainly in high-cost countries.

Visteon, which completed a bailout by former parent Ford Motor Co. (F) in 2005 and announced a further three years of restructuring in January, said it expects conditions to remain challenging the rest of 2006 and into 2007.

The net loss narrowed to $177 million, or $1.38 per share, in the third quarter, from $207 million, or $1.64 per share, a year earlier.

The net loss included $14 million of restructuring expenses that qualify for reimbursement from an account established in the Ford deal in 2005 to fund additional restructuring.

Visteon reported total sales of $2.62 billion, including $133 million of services, compared with $4.12 billion a year ago when it still had facilities it sold back to Ford.

Visteon expects to take a charge of up to $65 million in the fourth quarter for the salaried job cuts, which should qualify for reimbursement from the restructuring account, and expects the cuts to save up to $75 million a year, it said.

Visteon in September warned that production cuts in North America and a shift toward smaller vehicles from sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks would pressure second-half results.