Eastman Kodak Company today reported fourth-quarter 2009 earnings from continuing operations of $430 million, or $1.36 per share, on sales of $2.582 billion, reflecting the emergence of a company able to deliver improved profitability especially as the economy recovers.
"Despite a difficult economic environment, we delivered in 2009," said Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Eastman Kodak Company. "Our momentum is returning and our strategy is paying off. During 2009, we generated significant traction with our key digital businesses, we achieved sustainable operational improvements across the company, our earnings improved substantially, and we ended the year with more than $2.0 billion in cash on our balance sheet."
The company's fourth-quarter results demonstrate the success of the focused investments that Kodak is making in new products and growth businesses, including consumer and commercial inkjet and digital plates; the successful conclusion of intellectual property licensing agreements; improved profit margins; and a lean cost structure.
Fourth-quarter sales were $2.582 billion, a sequential increase of 45% from the third quarter of 2009 and a 6% increase from the year-ago quarter, including 4% of favorable foreign exchange impact. Revenue from digital businesses totaled $1.991 billion, a 12% increase from $1.779 billion in the prior-year quarter, resulting from the combination of an increase in non- recurring intellectual property licensing revenue and increased demand for consumer inkjet printer systems, kiosk media and digital plates. Revenue from the company's traditional business decreased 10% to $589 million for the fourth quarter. This revenue decline rate was significantly reduced compared to the first three quarters of 2009, reflecting sequentially improved demand across all traditional businesses, particularly Entertainment Imaging.
On the basis of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the company reported fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $430 million, or $1.36 per share, compared with a loss on the same basis of $914 million, or $3.40 per share, in the year-ago period. Items of net benefit that impacted comparability in the fourth quarter of 2009 totaled $90 million after tax, or $0.28 per share, primarily related to benefits from asset sales and tax-related items, partially offset by restructuring charges and other miscellaneous items. Items of net expense that impacted comparability in the fourth quarter of 2008 totaled $893 million after tax, or $3.32 per share, primarily related to a goodwill impairment charge, restructuring charges, a legal contingency, and tax-related items. (Please refer to the attached Items of Comparability table for more information.)
For full-year 2009, the company reported a loss from continuing operations of $232 million, or $0.87 per share. This compares to a loss of $727 million, or $2.58 per share, in 2008. Full-year revenue totaled $7.606 billion, a 19% decline from 2008. Full-year digital revenue totaled $5.345 billion, a 17% decline from 2008, and traditional revenue totaled $2.257billion, a 24% decline. These results reflect the recession's impact on demand, especially in the first half of 2009. The company expects that customer demand for its digital products will continue to grow, as the economy recovers.
Other 2009 details:
- In the fourth quarter of 2009, Gross Profit margin was 34.4% of sales, an increase from 20.4% in the year-ago period. Approximately six percentage points of this increase was driven by productivity improvements and higher demand for digital plates and kiosk media, productivity gains for digital cameras and devices, consumer inkjet, electrophotographic printing and traditional photofinishing, and favorable foreign exchange. The balance of the increase was driven by non-recurring intellectual property licensing agreements.
- Selling, General and Administrative (SG&A) expenses, on a GAAP basis, were $347 million in the fourth quarter, down 15%, or $61 million, from $408 million in the year-ago quarter, as a result of company-wide efficiency gains.
- Research and Development expenses, on a GAAP basis, were $86 million in the fourth quarter, down 25%, or $28 million, from $114 million in the year-ago quarter, reflecting the continued focusing of resources to core growth businesses, which require lower research and development investment versus a year ago.
- Fourth-quarter cash generation, before restructuring payments, was $909 million, compared with $508 million in the year-ago quarter. This corresponds to net cash provided by continuing operations from operating activities of $822 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 and $520 million for the year-ago period. For full-year 2009, cash generation, before restructuring payments, was $45 million, compared with cash usage on the same basis of $147 million for 2008. This corresponds to net cash used in continuing operations from operating activities of $136 million for 2009, compared with a net cash usage of $128 million for 2008.
- Kodak held $2.024 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2009, up from $1.147 billion on September 30, 2009.
- The carrying value of the company's debt, on a GAAP basis, stood at $1.191 billion as of December 31, 2009.
Segment sales and earnings from continuing operations before interest, taxes, and other income and charges (segment earnings from operations), are as follows:
- Consumer Digital Imaging Group fourth-quarter sales were $1.212 billion, a 27% increase from the prior-year quarter. Fourth-quarter earnings from operations for the segment were $380 million, compared with a loss of $41 million in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year improvement was driven by a combination of higher non-recurring intellectual property licensing revenue; improved profitability in consumer inkjet systems, including an 81% revenue increase in consumer inkjet printer hardware and ink; improved operating performance in Digital Capture & Devices and Retail Systems Solutions; and reduced SG&A expenses across the segment. Excluding the impact of non-recurring intellectual property royalties, segment earnings improved by more than $100 million.
- Graphic Communications Group fourth-quarter 2009 sales were $779 million, a 5% decline from the fourth quarter of 2008. Fourth-quarter earnings from operations for the segment were $36 million, a $40 million improvement over the year-ago quarter. This earnings increase was primarily driven by operational improvements across all product lines, increased demand for digital plates and enterprise workflow products, and lower raw material costs.
- Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group fourth-quarter sales were $589 million, a 10% decline from the year-ago quarter. Fourth-quarter earnings from operations for the segment were $53 million, compared with earnings of $39 million in the year-ago period. The increase in earnings was driven by significant operational improvements in Traditional Photofinishing, cost reductions across the segment, favorable foreign exchange, and improvement in raw material costs, partially offset by industry-related volume declines in Film Capture, and negative price/mix.
"In the second half of 2009 we began to see some improvement in the economy, and that helped to highlight the true strength of our digital portfolio," said Perez. "During 2009, we doubled the installed base for our consumer inkjet printers while maintaining our price premium. In the fourth quarter, we grew sales of commercial inkjet products, including a 33% increase in sales of our VL2000 printing system and enjoyed continued strong customer orders for our PROSPER product line. We delivered positive cash performance before restructuring for the past two quarters and for all of 2009, and our cost structure is providing us with significant operating leverage as the economic recovery continues. We enter the new year with the most competitive digital portfolio ever, strong presence in key markets, and a significant amount of positive momentum. All of this positions us well for improved performance in 2010."