January 26, 2011 / 5:56 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 5-Kodak loss mounts on digital sales, shares fall

* Q4 revenue drops 25 pct to $1.93 billion, missing view

* Q4 adjusted share -$0.37 vs Street view -$0.02

* Shares down 17 percent (Adds executive and analyst comments)

By Jennifer Saba

NEW YORK, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Eastman Kodak Co EK.N reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss and a 25 percent drop in revenue on poor digital and licensing sales, sending shares down as much as 19 percent.

The photography and printing company's revenue fell to $1.93 billion, missing the average analyst forecast of $2.11 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Kodak's digital revenue fell 25 percent, while revenue at its consumer digital imaging group, which includes the licensing portfolio, fell almost 40 percent to $731 million.

"Market conditions in these businesses fell short of our revenue target," Kodak Chief Executive Antonio Perez said during a call with analysts and investors on Wednesday.

Kodak executives cited competitive pricing and less consumer demand for its digital cameras as well as increases in commodity prices, particularly silver and petroleum, as some factors for the weak quarter. [ID:nN25166013]

Kodak faces competition in digital cameras and pocket video from Sony Corp (6758.T) and Canon Inc (7751.T), and from companies that make smartphones with cameras.

"We believe today's results reflect negative trends in the underlying businesses and yesterday's ITC ruling increases the risk to Kodak's IP licensing business," Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross wrote in a research note.

Cross has a "sell" rating on Kodak with a $3.50 price target.

The results come after a U.S. International Trade Commission judge determined on Monday that a Kodak patent claim against Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Research in Motion Ltd RIM.TO RIMM.O is invalid. A decision by the commission is expected in May.

Kodak filed the complaint in January, claiming Apple's iPhone and RIM's camera-enabled BlackBerry infringe on its patent on a method for previewing images. [ID:nN24144670]

"In anticipation of Monday's news, it is important to remember this is one step in a longer process," said Perez.

Kodak, whose name for years has been synonymous with photographs, has suffered as people abandoned printed film for digital cameras. Licensing its technology to phone manufacturers and camera makers has helped Kodak offset costly restructuring plans.

In 2004, Kodak began a four-year turnaround plan to make the company into a maker of digital photography products and printers. During the transition, it racked up billions in losses, cut its workforce in half and eliminated its dividend.

Perez said on the call there is an opportunity for asset sales for its declining business segments.

Kodak reported fourth-quarter earnings of $33 million, or 12 cents per share from continuing operations, compared with $430 million, or $1.36 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported a loss of 37 cents per share, missing analysts' estimates of a 2-cent loss.

Kodak shares were down 17 percent at $3.75 in early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Jennifer Saba. Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Derek Caney, Dave Zimmerman and Robert MacMillan)

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