Shares of Eastman Kodak Co lost more than half of their value on Friday as rumors of bankruptcy spread like wildfire during the week.
Kodak, one of the pioneers in the field of imaging and photography and also the maker of the first consumer camera in 1888, denies speculations that the company is on the brink of bankruptcy, despite reports that the company has hired a well-known law firm specializing on bankruptcy cases.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Kodak hired Jones Day to seek advice on bankruptcy proceedings particularly on restructuring the company's debts – $750 million of which will be due next year. According to the report, Kodak is also exploring options on selling their digital patents, which could total to $2 billion.
Friday was perhaps the darkest day trading in the history of the Kodak as company shares plunged to a loss of as much as 68 percent before recovering slightly to a loss of 53.8 percent. Kodak's market value reached a low point, closing at $210 million – quite measly compared to its peak in 1997 when the company was valued at $31 billion.
Eastman Kodak Company, in response to rumors circulating in the capital markets, issued the following statement:
"Kodak is committed to meeting all of its obligations and has no intention of filing for bankruptcy. The company also continues to actively pursue its previously announced strategy to monetize its digital imaging patent portfolio. Kodak remains focused on meeting its commitments to customers and suppliers, and on delivering on its strategy to become a profitable, sustainable digital company.
"It is not unusual for a company in transformation to explore all options and to engage a variety of outside advisers, including financial and legal advisers. Jones Day is one of a number of advisers that Kodak is working with in that regard."