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Kodak Ends Digital Camera Line


In its latest wave of financial amputations, the Eastman Kodak Co. has announced plans to stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames in the first half of 2012.

Since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year, Kodak has said there would be impending employment cutbacks, including 400 employees based at its Rochester, N.Y., headquarters.

What's left at Kodak? The company plans to expand its brand licensing program, as well as sell off its online printing services, retail kiosks and desktop printers. Kodak also has a commercial segment that includes enterprise services, graphics, entertainment and commercial film units.

As camera innovation shifts toward the mobile sector, Kodak will hold on to its patents that cover a number of basic functions in many smartphone cameras. The company picked up $27 million in patent-licensing fees in the first half of 2011, and made about $1.9 billion from those fees in the three years before that.

With all the cutbacks, Kodak hopes to generate more than $100 million in annual operating savings, although $30 million of those savings will go to separation and bankruptcy filing expenses.