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plans stock repurchase

Kodak venture partner
plans stock repurchase

CPI Corp. today announced that its directors have authorized a repurchase of up to $50 million of the St. Louis-based company’s stock.
Eastman Kodak Co. and CPI earlier this month announced an upcoming joint venture that will run a chain of retail outlets featuring Kodak products.
CPI today said that it will time a Dutch auction tender offer to begin on or before it closes the joint-venture agreement with Kodak.
Just before noon today, CPI stock, trading at $19 a share, had climbed more than a point over Friday’s closing price of $17.
On news of the Kodak deal two weeks ago, the firm’s stock price rose by several points. Two days before the pact was revealed on Aug. 8, CPI shares traded at $14.50.
In the ensuing two weeks, the stock traded as high as $18.50. Today’s price is the highest it has gone.
Also announced by CPI today was an anticipated decline in second-quarter earnings with an expected loss of 6 cents a share. In July 1995, CPI reaped a profit of 18 cents a share.
A statement from CPI chairman Alyn Essman attributed the decline to the impact of fixed costs in the portrait studios the company operates at Sears Roebuck Co. stores. Essman said fixed costs of depreciation, research and development and studio labor are directly related to ongoing restructuring of the portrait-studio operation. He said he expects the restructuring to improve results in the second half of 1996 and beyond.
CPI’s 1,108 Sears studios are not part of the Kodak-CPI venture.
If regulators OK that deal, Kodak will pay CPI $56 million for a 51 percent stake in CPI’s Fox Photo Inc. photofinishing subsidiary. Fox Photo runs some 550 minilabs and photographic retail stores in North America.
Kodak described the U.S. retail outlets it plans to develop through the joint venture as similar to the Photo Express stores it has started in various international emerging markets over the past few years. Those stores feature tightly focused advertising and close relations between Kodak and retail operators.
Also not included in the Kodak-CPI venture is CPI’s 150-store Prints Plus wall decor chain.

Kodak venture partner
plans stock repurchase

CPI Corp. today announced that its directors have authorized a repurchase of up to $50 million of the St. Louis-based company’s stock.
Eastman Kodak Co. and CPI earlier this month announced an upcoming joint venture that will run a chain of retail outlets featuring Kodak products.

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