Eastman Kodak ( EK) said earnings roughly doubled from a year ago on an 11% jump in sales, as the company's efforts to transform itself from a consumer camera purveyor to digital imaging specialist bore modest fruit.

But the company, which previously announced various layoffs, divestitures and acquisitions, issued a first-quarter financial statement so convoluted by allegedly nonoperating events and items that concrete deductions about its economic performance were difficult.

Kodak said it earned $28 million, or 10 cents a share, in the latest quarter, compared with earnings of $12 million, or 4 cents a share, last year. Sales were $2.92 billion in the latest quarter compared with $2.64 billion last year.

The latest quarter's earnings included income from discontinued operations of $12 million, or 4 cents a share. It also had "focused on cost reductions and other nonoperational items" that, when excluded, yielded earnings from continuing operations of 26 cents a share. That number, in turn, also included a tax benefit of 11 cents a share, "offset in part by an inventory adjustment" related to an acquisition of 3 cents a share. Excluding that, the company earned 18 cents a share, it said.

Kodak noted that its operational earnings guidance for the quarter was about 14 cents a share, which included earnings from discontinued operations of 2 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had been forecasting earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $2.84 billion.

The company's operating cash flow excluding acquisitions was negative $140 million in the most recent quarter, an improvement of $117 million from last year. That reflected a smaller decrease in receivables in the first quarter of 2004 relative to the decrease in the same period a year ago, "driven by stronger sales late in the first quarter of 2004."

Among segments, digital film and imaging sales rose 7% to $1.93 billion, while health imaging sales rose 15% to $631 million and commercial imaging sales rose 5% to $196 million. Kodak claimed that overall digital revenue rose 44% in the most recent quarter from a year ago, while traditional revenue fell 2%.

Kodak said it expects to earn 55 cents to 65 cents a share in the second quarter, excluding items, and expects to earn $2.15 to $2.45 a share in the full year. Analysts had been forecasting earnings of 59 cents a share in the second quarter and $2.18 a share in the full year.

"The results of the first quarter reinforce our confidence that we will demonstrate continued earnings and revenue growth in the quarters ahead, consistent with our strategy," the company said.

Shares of Kodak were up 81 cents, or 3.2%, to $25.85.