The Korea Herald


Kodak shares plunge as bankruptcy fears escalate


Published : Oct. 2, 2011 - 13:43

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Investors dumped Eastman Kodak's stock Friday amid fears that the photography pioneer is headed toward bankruptcy.

After its stock lost more than half its value in a volatile day of trading, Kodak tried to paint a rosier picture. "Kodak is committed to meeting all of its obligations and has no intention of filing for bankruptcy," the company said in a statement. The reassurance lifted Kodak shares in extended trading, but the rebound wasn't enough to undo the damage sustained in a brutal week for a hallowed name in U.S. business.

The Wall Street Journal rattled Kodak's already jittery shareholders with a Friday report that the company has hired Jones Day, a law firm that dispenses advice on bankruptcies and other restructuring alternatives.

Kodak confirmed the Jones Day hiring in its statement, describing the firm as one of several advisers helping its management turn around the Rochester, New York, company after losing nearly $1.8 billion since 2007. "It is not unusual for a company in transformation to explore all options and to engage a variety of outside advisers," Kodak said.

Friday's news followed a Kodak disclosure earlier this week that the company was borrowing $160 million from a $400 million line of credit.

The daisy chain of events convinced some investors that Kodak is running out of cash as it scrambles to adapt to the age of digital imagery.

Eastman Kodak Co. shares plunged 91 cents, or 54 percent, to close at 78 cents per share. The stock regained 35 cents in extended trading after management defused the bankruptcy speculation. The shares stood at $2.38 at the beginning of the week.

The selling was so intense during Friday's regular session that the shares temporarily stopped trading under the New York Stock Exchange's automated controls. At one point, Kodak's stock sagged to a new low of just 54 cents.

After 131 years in business, Kodak finds itself on shaky ground largely because of the shift to digital cameras. That change, coupled with tougher foreign competition, has undercut sales of the film that made Kodak famous.

To survive, the company has been mining its patent portfolio for additional cash. Since 2008, Kodak has pocketed nearly $2 billion in royalties and licensing fees. In July, Kodak hired investment bankers Lazard Ltd. to sell about 1,100 digital-imaging patents.

The question now is whether those measures will be enough to keep Kodak afloat. The company had $957 million in cash as of June 30, down from $1.6 billion at the start of the year. (AP)


<한글 기사>

코닥, 주가 폭락속 도산설 확산

회사 "파산 계획없다"‥市總, 310억弗→2억1천만弗

미국 상징 기업의 하나인 이스트먼 코닥이 회사 측  부인에도 주가가 폭락하면서 도산설이 확산되고 있다.

코닥은 지난달 30일(현지시간) 성명에서 "회사가 파산 보호를 신청할 계획이 없다"고 밝혔다.

월스트리트 저널은 앞서 코닥이 법률회사 존스 데이를 고용했다면서 존스 데이 가 파산 문제 전문 법률회사임을 지적했다.

코닥은 존스 데이와 계약한 점은 인정했다.

이 보도가 나온 후 코닥 주가는 이날 장중 근 54% 주저앉아 주당 78센트에 거래 가 끝났다.

그러나 성명이 발표된 후 장외 거래에서 41% 반등해 1.10달러로 회복됐다.

코닥 시가총액은 지난 1997년 2월 기록적인 310억달러이던 것이 현재 2억1천만 달러로 급락했다.

코닥은 필름시장이 급속히 위축되면서 사세가 주저앉자 고육지책으로 지난 7월 1천100건 이상의 디지털 이미징 기술 특허를 매각하겠다고 밝혔다.

전문가들은 코닥이 이를 매각하면 최대 30억달러를 확보할 수 있을 것으로 내다 봤다.

코닥은 지난주 1억6천만달러 차입이 필요하다고 밝히기도 했다.