War, economic crisis, swine flu -- who, indeed, would want to capture these moments? Not many it seems, as camera company Eastman Kodak ( EK) tripled its loss in the first quarter and announced new cost-cutting initiatives.

The company also said it is suspending its 25-cent semiannual dividend, paring down salaries of top executives and requiring U.S. employees to take a one-week furlough.

During the quarter, Kodak deepened its loss to $353 million, or $1.32 a share, compared with a loss of $115 million, or 40 cents, in the year-ago period. Excluding restructuring and other one-time items the company saw a loss of 95 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 33 cents.

Sales plunged 29% to $1.48 billion from $2.09 billion a year ago.

Digital sales slumped 29%, to $972 billion, from $1.37 billion last year, while film-based revenue fell 31%, to $503 million, from $724 million.

"The demand for the company's consumer products was very weak in the first quarter of 2009 as a result of the drop-off of consumer discretionary spending, consistent with trends that emerged in the fourth quarter of 2008," the company said in a statement.

In January the company said it would eliminate 4,500 jobs this year and cut back on investments in new technologies.

Kodak said it expects to see about a 12% to 18% decline in sales this year. Through 2012, it expects revenue to rise 4% a year on average, driven by an 8% to 10% increase in digital sales.
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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