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Kodak Posts Loss, To Cut Up to 4,500 Jobs

Eastman Kodakposted an unexpected quarterly loss and said it would cut up to 4,500 jobs this year after suffering a dramatic decline in demand for digital cameras and commercial printing equipment.

The maker of cameras, picture frames and consumer printers and provider of commercial printing services, also unveiled another round of restructuring, aimed at cutting costs, the latest in a string of such moves dating back to at least 2003.

The results come about a year after Kodak said it had completed an expensive four-year restructuring that transformed it into a maker of digital photography products, and a developer of commercial and retail printing systems. During that restructuring, Kodak halved its workforce, which now stands at about 26,900 people.

The company said on Thursday it would reduce its workforce by between 3,500 and 4,500 positions in 2009. Kodak late in 2008 had earmarked 1,000-1,500 jobs to be cut in 2009, and on Thursday said an additional 2,000 to 3,000 jobs will be cut.

Its fourth-quarter loss from continuing operations was $137 million, or 51 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $215 million, or 75 cents per share. Kodak called the results preliminary because additional asset-related charges may be recorded for the period.

Excluding special items such as restructuring and legal costs, Kodak's loss was 8 cents a share, far short of analysts' expectations of a profit of 19 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue fell 24 percent to $2.43 billion. Sales of products like still and video cameras and digital picture frames fell 36 percent.

"During the last three months of the year, we experienced dramatic declines in several of our key businesses due to the slowdown in consumer spending and significantly reduced demand for capital equipment," Chief Executive Antonio Perez said in a statement.

Shares of Kodak fell over 2 percent in early morning trading from their Wednesday close of $7.07 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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