Kodak Narrows Q1 Loss; Momentum Builds in Strategic Technology Businesses
Friday, May 09, 2014
Press release from the issuing company
Eastman Kodak Company today reported a net loss of $36 million for the first quarter of 2014. On a comparable basis, the net loss in 2013 would have been $85 million, or $54 million greater than the comparable net loss in 2014 of $31 million. On a GAAP basis, the net earnings in 2013 were $283 million, which included Other Operating Income, net of $494 million, primarily from a gain of $535 million from the sale of the digital imaging patent portfolio.
Sales for the first quarter of 2014 were $482 million, compared to $594 million in the prior-year quarter, a decline of 19%, more than half attributable to continuing declines in the film and consumer inkjet products. In addition, non-recurring licensing revenue was $24 million lower than in the first quarter of 2013.
“Kodak’s transformation continues. The path to sustainable growth and profitability is not a straight line, but we continue to progress, especially in the strategic technology businesses1 which will constitute the new Kodak,” said Jeff Clarke, Chief Executive Officer. “Our results, while within expectations, reflect the steep declines in our mature businesses, which are currently offsetting the increasing momentum we are seeing in our strategic technology businesses.
“We saw significant increases in sales for our key new products in packaging, digital printing and digital plates, as increasing numbers of customers embraced our solutions.”
Clarke noted the company’s strong liquidity, with cash of $809 million exceeding debt of $677 million, or by more than $130 million, provides flexibility to continue investing in the business to support future growth.
“In 2014, we will invest about $100 million in R&D and about $40 million in capital improvements to continue bringing innovative solutions to market for our customers, and improving the efficiency of our operations,” Clarke said.
"I'm pleased with our first-quarter reduction in SG&A. This improvement in Kodak's cost structure will provide operating leverage to projected growth in our strategic technology businesses in the second half of the year.”
Becky Roof, Chief Financial Officer, added, “As we’ve seen in the past, sales in several of our businesses are weighted toward later quarters. We fully expect to see such a pattern again this year, driving revenue and profitability growth.”
Table 1 – Kodak Earnings Summary
Kodak operates under two business segments: Graphics, Entertainment & Commercial Films (GECF) and Digital Printing & Enterprise (DP&E).
Graphics, Entertainment & Commercial Films (GECF): The GECF segment consists of the Graphics and Entertainment & Commercial Films groups, as well as Kodak’s intellectual property and brand licensing activities.
Table 2 – GECF Segment Financial Overview
The GECF segment had sales of $316 million in the first quarter of 2014, a decline of 18% from the $386 million of the prior-year quarter. Most of this decline was due to the reduction in motion picture film and one-time licensing revenue. Although the Graphics business had a 4% decline in revenue, the Workflow Solutions business grew by 8%, while the decline in the digital plates business narrowed significantly. Recent sales momentum in the digital plates business provides confidence in expectations for continuing improvement in performance in that business through 2014.
In the digital plates business, customers continued to switch to KODAK SONORA Process Free Plates. This technology platform is a breakthrough because it removes the processing step without sacrificing quality or productivity. In addition to the environmental and economic benefits of using SONORA Plates—water, waste and electricity savings—printers also receive the quality, productivity and print capability of traditional processed plates. Kodak expects to quadruple the number of customers using SONORA Plates during 2014, and is investing in increasing production of those plates at plants in Germany, China and the U.S. to meet growing demand for this revolutionary product line.
The decrease in GECF gross profit percent was driven by unfavorable manufacturing costs within Entertainment Imaging & Commercial Films primarily due to lower production volumes and the impact of fresh start accounting, as well as the decline in one-time licensing revenue. Partially offsetting these factors was an improvement in manufacturing costs in Graphics.
Digital Printing and Enterprise (DP&E): The DP&E Segment consists of four product/service groups, Digital Printing, Packaging and Functional Printing, Enterprise Services & Solutions, and Consumer Inkjet Systems.
Table 3 – DP&E Segment Financial Overview
DP&E had sales of $166 million in the first quarter of 2014, a decline of 16% from the $197 million of the prior-year quarter. Nearly two-thirds of the decline was related to lower sales in the Consumer Inkjet business.
For 2014, Kodak is on track to generate significant increases in equipment placements for two DP&E product lines that are essential to profitable business growth. The company expects to increase the number of KODAK PROSPER Presses installed to more than 40 during 2014, while also increasing the number of KODAK PROSPER S-Series Imprinting Systems by one-third to more than 1,000. Several PROSPER Press customers have achieved more than one billion cumulative printed pages from their units.
It is also expected that placements of KODAK FLEXCEL NX Systems in the packaging industry will increase by more than 25% to more than 400 units, a growth rate that significantly exceeds the industry average. FLEXCEL Solutions deliver efficiency and durability on press, and enable eye-catching packaging on store shelves. Reflecting this strong growth in placements and the benefits to customers, FLEXCEL System annuity volumes grew by 55% in the quarter.
The decline in gross profit percent for DP&E was primarily due to consumer inkjet ink sales constituting a lower percentage of the segment’s gross profit dollars, and higher manufacturing costs due primarily to the application of fresh start accounting.
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