Eastman Kodak Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know


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 buggy whip manufacturer... I mean, photo and printing also-ran Eastman Kodak (NYS: EK) were the very picture of disaster today as investors knocked them down as much as 60% in intraday trading on bankruptcy rumors.

So what: Kodak has been getting beaned by Mr. Market day after day as investors have recently become even more concerned that the company doesn't have the cash to keep the engine chugging along. The shares got a brief respite yesterday when an institutional investor called for the company to sell itself, but they plunged under $1 today after reports that the company had hired Jones Day for restructuring advice. For those not up on their stock market euphemisms, "restructuring" is often a nice way of saying "bankruptcy."

Now what: Management is still sticking to its guns and says that the company has "no intention of filing for bankruptcy" and that "there is no change in our strategy to monetize our intellectual property." But can you blame investors for not taking management at its word considering where the company finds itself today? Perhaps an acquirer will ride in on a white horse and save equity investors, but my guess is that the company will have to find a way to muddle its way out if it wants to stay solvent. Anybody interested in the company's patents may be willing to wait to buy them out of bankruptcy proceedings.

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