Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of photography fanatic Eastman Kodak (NYS: EK) were seeing some life today, rising as much as 12% in intraday trading after an investor urged the company to sell itself.
So what: Institutional investment manager Investment Partners Asset Management sent the board of Kodak a letter lambasting management and urging it to immediately put the company up for sale. The letter also reached out to other major shareholders of Kodak, saying "I also believe that Kodak's large institutional owners need to immediately exert their rights, and take a leadership role in effecting change. The status quo cannot continue."
It's been a rough week for Kodak, and if the bearish views are on point, then there could be even more clouds on the horizon. A sale could potentially bring in some premium to the value of Kodak's shares and give investors at least some salve for their losses.
Now what: Now that we've covered that, hop on your transporter and meet me back in reality. Do I disagree with IPAM's assessment of Kodak's situation? Let me put it this way: It sure doesn't seem like management is showing investors the light at the end of the tunnel.
However, IPAM is a teeny-tiny investment fund with a teeny-tiny position in Kodak. The fund sent another letter earlier this year to Legg Mason (NYS: LM) and Fidelity -- the largest holders of Kodak stock -- urging them to push for changes or a sale. Obviously, that didn't do the trick. Perhaps it will work better this time around since there's even more of a fire under the backsides of Kodak investors.
With that in mind, I think Mr. Market is getting a little too excited today by this letter. If Bill Miller over at Legg Mason sent a similar letter, the giddiness might be justified -- though it could be an uphill battle even for Miller. A Kodak buyout may be in the cards, but I'm not a buyer on today's "news."
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