Eastman Kodak posts profit

Eastman Kodak ek said Thursday that it swung to a second-quarter profit despite lower sales as the photography and commercial printing company trimmed expenses and improved margins.

Net income for the quarter ended June 30 amounted to $592 million, or $2.06 a share, compared with a loss of $282 million, or 98 cents a share, in the 2006 quarter. The loss from continuing operations narrowed to $135 million, or 47 cents a share, from a loss of $355 million, or $1.24.

The most recent quarter includes charges totaling 92 cents a share, including restructuring costs of 86 cents. In the 2006 quarter, Eastman Kodak posted charges of 72 cents a share, primarily restructuring costs.

Sales declined 6.6% to $2.51 billion from $2.69 billion. Digital revenue improved 3% to $1.46 billion, while traditional revenue, mainly film, slid 17% to $1.04 billion.

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial forecast a quarterly profit of 9 cents per share on sales of $2.52 billion.

Gross profit margin rose to 26.2% from 21.4% in the prior year, primarily attributable to lower costs, driven by manufacturing footprint reductions and the favorable impact of foreign exchange, offset by adverse silver and aluminum costs.

"Earnings improved across all of our major business units, reflecting our strong focus on cost reduction and operational efficiencies," said Antonio Perez, chairman and chief executive. "We continue to expect a strong second half, with double-digit sales growth in both of our major digital businesses, driven by a stronger-than-ever portfolio of digital products, including our revolutionary consumer inkjet printing system, new image sensors, workflow software, and an expanded line of Nexpress digital color printing presses."