Kodak to Stop Selling Traditional Cameras in U.S.

Eastman Kodak Co. on Tuesday said it will stop selling traditional film cameras in the United States, Canada and Western Europe, another move by the photography company to cut lines with declining appeal in favor of fast-growing digital products. With sales of digital cameras poised to overtake film cameras for the first time this year, Kodak is redefining itself in an effort to keep pace. But the No. 1 maker of photographic film will continue to sell one-time use cameras in the West and expand its sales of these and other film-based cameras -- and film -- in emerging markets where demand is on the rise.

Shares of Kodak eked out narrow gains on Tuesday after the announcement, and was one of the few blue chip stocks to close higher on the New York Stock Exchange. The move comes amid Kodak's controversial plan to focus on high-growth digital products, such as medical imaging systems and production printing, and reduce dependence on its declining film business. Late in 2003, Kodak said it would stop making slide projectors, but still manufactures color slide films. "Every one of these steps indicates more and more the strength of Kodak's conviction of moving toward digital," said analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research. "However, the jury is out on whether (the digital strategy) will work."

News source: Reuters

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