Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kodak's Fight for Survival (EK)

The stock of the former Dow Jones Industrial Average component is trading at $1.12, down a penny.
From MIT Technology Review's Hello World blog:

The prospect of the photographic company's possible demise is so melancholy that even a debt-rating firm is waxing poetic.
It's perhaps not unexpected, given that every day brings word of flashy, newfangled photography products to blow your mind--a ball camera to take spherical panoramas, waterproof cameras for extreme athletes, cameras that do party tricks, cameras that let you refocus after the fact. With the onslaught of eye-catching novelty cameras--some surely fleeting and faddish, but some here to stay--how can a more old-fashioned photographic company compete?

It's not clear that it can. Eastman Kodak warned investors last week that it would need to raise further debt or complete a multibillion-dollar patent sale if it wants to stay afloat for the next year. The announcement fretted investors, and shares plummeted. This, too, after shares already "fell off a cliff," in MarketBeat's words, in late September; at one point Kodak became a penny stock, bottoming out at 78 cents a share, the lowest since 1938. Ten years ago, share prices stood around $30.

"The Company's ability to continue its operations ... is dependent upon the ability to monetize its digital imaging patent portfolio through a sale or licensing of the relevant patents and/or the successful execution of the alternative actions, which could include the issuance of additional debt," Kodak said in a filing with the SEC, Reuters reported....MORE
...And yet, in the case of Eastman Kodak, there is something immeasurably melancholy about the prospect of its passing. The Wall Street Journal even caught a debt-rating firm (not typically known for "philosophical musings," the Journal noted) getting decidedly poetical about Kodak's decline. Wrote the firm: "Unless Kodak finds some more liquid fuel in the form of cash proceeds from a patent sale or a favorable court ruling, the light that once illuminated America's iconic maker of memories will fade from the picture."...