Kodak’s Not Dead Yet

With the internet already building a funeral pyre, it pays to remember that Kodak isn't actually dead yet.

Look, there’s no denying Kodak’s in major financial trouble, but the chorus of death knells heard around the internet seem a tad premature. Kodak is still in business, and is still producing cameras and film. Much of the news that seems to have caused everyone to see assume the worst is actually warning and hearsay, and none of it has come to fruition. Well, not yet, anyway.

For instance, the NYSE has threatened to delist Kodak from the stock exchange if its shares don’t rise above a dollar. As dangerous as that sounds, Kodak actually has six months to turn around — a substantial period, and hardly impossible. Kodak shares were as high as $5.85 last year, and only dipped below $1 in early December. Likewise, it’s not the end of the world if the company is delisted. It’s a bad outcome, but possible to recover from.

Additionally, the report from earlier this week by the WSJ about Kodak and bankruptcy was interpreted by many as saying that Kodak is bankrupt. What it actually says is that Kodak is seeking “bankruptcy protection”, which would actually help them avoid Chapter 11. If achieved, Kodak would be able to stay afloat a while longer, and hopefully be able to regain its footing, it sounds like through the sale of patents. Bankruptcy protection will give Kodak a chance to reorganize its debt, and hopefully come out better for it.

I’d also like to point out that the WSJ report comes via “people familiar with the matter”, which can mean anything from baseless rumors to a quiet source within the company.

Unfortunately, that bankruptcy report has spooked investors to the point where Kodak stocks have entered freefall,down to less than $0.40 as of press time, and the company’s rating has plummeted. While the chances are slim of Kodak coming back from this, it’s not out of the question, and bemoaning the death of all things film may be a tad premature.