Kodak earnings worse than expected

Steve Henn Nov 3, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Kodak earnings worse than expected

Steve Henn Nov 3, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Kai Ryssdal: There’s a line to be had here about nobody taking my kodachrome away, but it escapes me at the moment. Kodak, the pioneering photography company, missed earnings estimates by a mile today — and warned investors it could have trouble staying in business if things don’t go its way.

Marketplace’s Steve Henn reports.


Steve Henn: The year was 1900, the product was Kodak’s brownie camera. For just $1, it brought photography to the masses.

Kodak made a fortune — not selling cameras, but by selling film. Then in the ’70s, when Kodak still dominated this market, its scientists invented digital photography.

Mark Kauffman: It turned the business inside-out; it was a destructive technology.

Especially for Kodak. Mark Kauffman’s at Rafferty Capital. He says when cameras no longer needed film, Kodak’s core business collapsed.

Ed Lee follows the industry at Infotrends.

Ed Lee: Come the end of the decade, there will be very, very little film being used.

So Kauffman says one of Kodak’s most valuable assets are the patents on digital technologies it created.

Kauffman: Between 2008 and 2010, they took in $1.5 billion in patent revenue.

And executives hope by selling rights to that technology will keep the company afloat as it tries to build a new business in digital printing.

In Silicon Valley, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.