Updated form 2:37 p.m. EDT
got slammed Tuesday after it said that slower sales growth in September would result in
"Our third-quarter business plans required strong September sales growth to enable us to successfully offset the earnings pressures of a rising dollar, increased raw material costs and higher levels of digital investment," said Bob Brust, Kodak's chief financial officer, in a statement.
The company said its third-quarter earnings will be 20 cents to 25 cents below its previous estimate, which ranged between $1.56 and $1.66 per share.
The consensus among analysts who follow the company was for Rochester, N.Y.-based Kodak to earn $1.60 per share in the current quarter, according to market research firm
First Call/Thomson Financial
Kodak closed Tuesday regular trading down $14.63, or 25%, at $44.38. At least two brokerage firms downgraded Kodak Tuesday morning, with
Credit Suisse First Boston
dropping the film company to a buy from a strong buy and
lowering its rating to a neutral from a hold.
In an analyst conference call Tuesday morning, Brust offered few specifics, only saying that the decline in sales was felt across the company's product portfolio.
"We're seeing a slowness almost everywhere," he said. "We're combing the woods now trying to find out what's responsible for this."
He said sales in July and August were strong, but fell off in September. "Nothing is strong in September," he said. "It's widespread. You can't really pin it down on one unit or one product."
The company will provide an updated view of the fourth quarter on Oct. 18, the day it is scheduled to release third-quarter results.
"However, if current sales trends persist and worldwide economic growth continues to slow, a downward revision to fourth-quarter earnings expectations may be necessary," according to a company statement.
followed Kodak's warning with a statement telling investors that it expects to meet its estimates. "Although the third quarter has not ended, sales are tracking to the company's estimates," according to the statement. "While the euro is having a negative impact, the company is working to offset its effect with cost savings."
The Cambridge, Mass.-based company is scheduled to release third quarter earnings on Oct. 19.
However, Polaroid shares were lately off 81 cents, or 6%, at $13.88 after reaching a 52-week low of $13.63.