Imation Corp. is looking at ­strategic options to “unlock the embedded value” of its struggling digital storage and security company.

The news came with the Oakdale-based company’s announcement Tuesday that it had posted a loss for the fourth quarter.

“We are going to explore all options,” CEO Mark Lucas told analysts during a conference call Tuesday morning.

Lucas said the preference is not to sell the entire company, which has four business units. The company has hired investment bankers to help with its options.

The company that spun off from 3M Co. 19 years ago is trying to reinvent itself as data storage trends shift and demand for its “legacy” CD and magnetic-tape storage products have lagged.

The company is trying to refocus its strategy on meeting the exploding data security needs of commercial customers. That takes time, Lucas told investors in a statement.

“To advise on the next phase of the transformation, Houlihan Lokey is working with the company to review and explore certain strategic options to maximize the value of each business unit,” Lucas said.

Imation reported Tuesday that fourth-quarter sales fell 15 percent to $197 million. The operating loss from continuing operations was $12.1 ­million, or 35 cents a share. The loss includes yet another special charge, this time for $2.1 million. Imation also took a special charge during the third quarter.

Analysts had expected bad news, just not so much of it. On average, they had forecast that the company could lose 21 cents a share for the quarter.

Imation’s stock price fell 24 cents to close at $4.01.

For the full year, Imation’s sales fell 15 percent to $729 million. The loss from continuing operations was $104.1 million, or $2.74 a share. ­Analysts had expected a loss of $1.34 a share.

Imation has been the ­target of two activist investor groups who have demanded seats on the company’s board or pushed executives to cut board compensation. Shareholders are expected to vote on the requests this spring at the company’s annual meeting.

Thursday morning, however, Spear Point Capital Fund announced that it has sued Imation’s board of directors, claiming that they had “breached their fiduciary duties” by accepting “excessive compensation.”