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 user 2009-02-03 at 4:47:24 pm Views: 45
  • #21602
    Home inkjet printer bright spot for Kodak
    Kodak Co., which knows very well about making motion picture film and
    digital cameras, in 2007 jumped into an entirely new product line of
    inkjet printers for the home.
    While the company is trying to force
    its way into a crowded marketplace — as evidenced by the numerous
    printers available at any Best Buy store — Kodak’s All-in-One inkjet
    printers are moving off the shelves at an increasing clip.

    of the All-in-One, which is manufactured overseas for the
    Rochester-based company, constituted a piece of positive news from
    Kodak this week as it announced a fourth-quarter loss, a drop in
    overall sales and plans for a new round of layoffs worldwide.”Despite
    the external challenges, there were many positive signs,” Chief
    Executive Antonio M. Perez told investment analysts Thursday.The bits
    of good news were heavily outweighed by the bad, including word that
    Kodak will eliminate 1,300 Rochester-area jobs by spring.Kodak stock
    continued to lose value Friday, closing at $4.53, down 46 cents, or
    more than 9 percent.

    On Thursday, Kodak shares plunged close to
    30 percent.Also on Friday, credit rating agency Fitch Ratings
    downgraded its evaluation of Kodak based on expectations that the
    company’s profits would continue to fall through 2009.Kodak jumped into
    the home inkjet printer market with a goal of selling 500,000 in
    2007.It ended up moving 520,000 units that year, with consumers buying
    320,000 of them.In 2008, it moved 780,000 units to retailers, with
    consumers buying 730,000.The All-in-One line retails for $100 to $300

    For the fourth quarter of 2008, All-in-One sales were off
    slightly as consumer spending everywhere dried up.However, those
    million-plus printers on desks worldwide continue to generate money for
    Kodak in the form of high-profit-margin consumables such as ink
    cartridges and photo paper, said company spokesman David Lanzillo.And
    users go through, on average, eight inkjet cartridges a year — higher
    than the industry average.Kodak’s consumer inkjet revenue grew 32
    percent during 2008, though it didn’t say whether the product was
    profitable.In the past, the company has said it would take several
    years before the costs of starting up the product line were recouped.

    Among other high points in the company’s 2008 results:
    Stream commercial inkjet print system will hit the market later this
    year.The company has been working on Stream technology, a digital
    printing process with extremely high quality reproduction capabilities,
    for about 10 years.

    While a Stream printer won’t be commercially
    available until 2010, Perez said, the Stream print head will be
    available late this year.The company announced earlier this month that
    it has its first customer for Stream print heads, an Ohio commercial
    printer, lined up.Although other business groups’ revenues were down by
    double-digit percentages in 2008, Kodak’s graphic communications group
    sales dipped only 2 percent because of demand for plates for digital
    printing presses, said Chief Financial Officer Frank Sklarsky.