Kodak

(EK)

met analysts' expectations for the fourth quarter, but the company offered a dim view of 2002, saying that weakness in the economy will likely continue to depress earnings.

The company reported a quarterly loss of $206 million, or 71 cents a share, reversing a profit of $194 million, or 66 cents a share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Sales totaled $3.36 billion, a decline of 6% from $3.56 billion the prior year.

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Excluding charges and nonrecurring items, the company earned 12 cents a share in the latest quarter, in line with the Thomson Financial/First Call consensus estimate.

"We also will continue to aggressively manage costs so that as we move into the second half of 2002, profit margins and earnings will improve," the company said in a press release. Kodak expects economic weakness to continue hampering earnings this year, but the effects will be somewhat moderated by cost-cutting measures the company implemented in 2001.

Kodak forecast first-quarter earnings of 5 cents to 15 cents a share, while Wall Street is looking for 12 cents. The company expects second-quarter earnings of 60 cents to 70 cents a share, compared with the estimate of 66 cents. For the year, the film and imaging company projected earnings of $2 to $2.60 a share. Analysts expect $2.43. Kodak also expects revenue of $13.4 billion for the year, up slightly from $13.2 billion in 2001.

The company also said it expects to generate $6 billion in cash flow after dividends during the next six years, an amount that will allow Kodak to maintain its dividend, pay down debt and make acquisitions.