Kodak shares jump as company seeks new strategy

AP News
Posted: Oct 07, 2011 10:26 AM
Kodak shares jump as company seeks new strategy

Eastman Kodak Co. shares jumped in Thursday trading as the photography icon worked its way through a volatile period.

THE SPARK: Kodak, which is trying to reinvent itself in a digital world, took a major hit last week when news leaked out that the company had hired Jones Day, a law firm that advises on bankruptcy protection and other restructuring options. The stock plunged to an all-time low.

The company then said that it has no intention of filing for bankruptcy protection and said that the firm is one of several advisers helping its management develop strategy for a turnaround. Shares rebounded this week.

Currently Kodak is relying on a strategy of mining its patent portfolio to revive its business. It has raised nearly $2 billion in licensing fees since 2008, and it is pinning its hopes on a potential $3 billion sale of its 1,100 digital-imaging patents.

THE BIG PICTURE: Investors are likely to remain jumpy until the 131-year-old company, which turned photography into a hobby for the masses, secures its footing and demonstrates it can prevent the brand's extinction.

THE ANALYSIS: Citi analyst Richard Gardner is still skeptical of the company's ability to grow in the long-term. He reiterated a "Sell" rating on the company's shares, as Kodak continues to deal with legal disputes and appears unlikely to sell its patent portfolio by the end of the year.

SHARE ACTION: Kodak shares have had a volatile period recently, hitting a record low of 54 cents during trading on Friday on bankruptcy concerns but rebounding to open at $1.17 Monday as the company assured investors it would not do that.

Shares continued a delicate recovery this week, and on Thursday they rose 23 cents, nearly 19 percent, to close at $1.45.

Kodak shares have traded between 54 cents and $5.95 in the past 52 weeks.