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Kodak Has Loss, Accounting Issues

But earnings from continuing operations blow past estimates.
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swung to a fourth-quarter loss and said it found errors in its previously reported financials.

The imaging company lost $12 million, or 4 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with earnings of $19 million, or 7 cents a share, a year ago. Sales rose 3.2% from a year ago to $3.77 billion.

Excluding a variety of special items, Kodak earned $236 million, or 78 cents a share, in the most recent quarter, about 13 cents better than analysts had forecast. The Wall Street sales estimate was $3.75 billion.

Kodak said it is working with its auditors to determine the scope of accounting errors that were discovered in the company's 2004 income tax calculations. The errors could affect the company's after-tax income, Kodak warned, although they won't be material to revenue or cash flow.

In the fourth quarter, Kodak said, sales from its digital imaging segments rose 40% from a year ago, while sales in traditional businesses fell 16% from last year. The company has been trying to reorient around digital imaging for about a year and took charges in the latest quarter to reflect costs related to the initiative.

For 2005, Kodak predicted that digital sales will exceed traditional sales for the first time, and said digital profit growth will exceed the decline in profit in the traditional business. "We are more confident than ever that we have the leadership, the technology and the products and services required to achieve our strategic goals and enhance shareholder value," Kodak said.

The stock rose 94 cents, or 3%, to $32.49 on Instinet.