ROCHESTER, NY, April 19 -- Eastman Kodak Company has reported 1999 first quarter sales of $3.1 billion, an increase of 6% over last year. Net earnings were $191 million or $.59 per share; this represents a decrease of 14% on a per-share basis from a year ago, but an increase of 10% to $.80 per share when adjusted for charges for portfolio adjustments in 1999 and a 1998 litigation settlement. The company also announced a new stock repurchase program for up to $2 billion of the company's outstanding common stock. Eastman Kodak reduced its operating costs by approximately $80 million during the quarter. Cost savings from research and development, SG&A and manufacturing productivity were higher than the preceding quarter; however, savings were partially offset by planned increases in spending in a number of key investment areas, including manufacturing operations in China, digitization initiatives, integration of the Imation acquisition, and installation of the new IT infrastructure.