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Kodak gets closer to selling off a division; releases latest earnings numbers

Eastman Kodak is reporting some improvement in earnings for its 3rd quarter. But the company still faces some big challenges.

Kodak saw net profits of $19 million for the quarter, better than the loss they saw at this time last year, but company officials say after certain one–time charges are taken into account earnings were basically flat.

Sales overall, fell. Revenues of $366 were down $13 million from a year ago.

But CEO Jeff Clarke says the company made progress in some key growth areas. He says Kodak saw strong performance from SONORA Plates, FLEXCEL NX Plates and PROSPER annuities. The company is now focused on areas that include commercial printing and packaging.

Clarke did indicate to investors that Kodak is closer to selling off the Flexographic Packaging Division, which they talked about last summer. He says that should happen in the first half of next year. Previously, the CEO said that division is being sold so Kodak can focus on growth areas. It also raises money to help Kodak pay down debt.

At Brighton Securities, George Conboy says Kodak continues to face some difficult hurdles.

“This is a company that continues to struggle and is not generating enough cash, but more than all of that, the deadline of the debt, that is due next year is the looming issue on Kodak’s horizon.”

Because of Kodak’s financial situation it has had to file a required notice that it would have difficulty “continuing as a going concern,” if it can’t take the necessary steps to meet its debt obligations.

Kodak has also worked to improve its bottom line by cutting jobs. Earlier this year, they announced they would be cutting 325 positions worldwide. There’s no specific number for the Rochester reductions, but based on how much of the company’s operations are in this area, that was expected to impact around 80 jobs.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.