The Dow component reported second-quarter earnings of $0.39 per share this morning, down 60% from the same period last year. Earnings from continuing operations, which exclude cost-reduction expenses, fell 30%. Without the benefits from foreign currency translations, revenue slipped 6%.
Film and photographic paper have been Kodak's bread and butter for years, but that business continues to drop off as more and more consumers turn to digital cameras. These nifty devices use no film and -- since digital shutterbugs print fewer pictures -- require less paper.
That declining business prompted management today to announce the elimination of up to 6,000 jobs, or 9% of its workforce, beginning later this year.
As always, the question for investors is what lies ahead. Will the digital revolution leave the struggling giant behind? CEO Daniel Carp promises "new products and services with different business models but with a potential for growth that is far beyond that of our more mature operations." If he's right, that and the current 7% yield make for an interesting stock.
But Kodak has a long history of disappointments. Its inability to adjust to digital up to this point has resulted in a total 10-year return of -16%, lofty dividends included. Compare that with a 160% return for the S&P 500 over the same period and you see why it's tough to give the company the benefit of the doubt.