Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK) posted a wider than expected loss for its first fiscal quarter, but the deficit was narrower compared to the previous year.

The Rochester, NY-based firm said its net loss was $151 million, or 53 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter. The deficit compares with a $298 million, or $1.04 a share, loss posted in the same quarter last year.

Analysts, on average, had widely expected a loss of 2 cents per share on sales of $2.11 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

The firm lost 61 cents from continuing operations, with 26 cents a share in charges. Sales dropped 8 percent to $2.12 billion.

Kodak also faced charges from its ongoing restructuring plan. The company, which has been famous for its film and photography, has been transitioning to meet the needs of new digital picture formats. Sales in the firm's consumer Digital Imaging Group totaled $778 million, down 14 percent.

The drop was attributed to the company’s strategy to reduce its digital camera portfolio in the low-end price range, decreases in photofinishing services at retail, and an industry-wide decline in snapshot printing.

The company also received $2.35 billion in cash from the sale of its health-imaging business to Onex Corp., a which was created after the discovery of X-rays in 1895.

Charges related to the four-year restructuring plan, which is set to wrap up by the end of this year, will total $3.6 billion. The changes are expected to cut between 28,000 and 30,000 jobs.

The 2007 cash generation forecast from its inkjet investment was lowered to more than $100 million, from a previous estimate of $100 million to $200 million, and lowered its digital earnings from operations forecast by $50 million to a range of $150 million to $250 million.

Now is the time to accelerate our activity and more aggressively pursue this opportunity in the interest of creating value for our shareholders, said Antonio Perez, the firm’s CEO.

He expects 3 percent to 5 percent rise in digital revenue this year and a 4 percent to 7 percent decline in overall revenue.