WSJ: Kodak Preparing for Bankruptcy

Eastman Kodak Co. is preparing for bankruptcy in the “coming weeks” in case efforts to sell its patents fall through, the         Wall Street Journalreported on Wednesday.

The photography and imaging equipment company has long struggled with revamping itself as a technology company amid advancements in digital cameras and photo sharing.  Shares of Kodak have closed under $1 for 30 consecutive trading days, the Journal reported.

Kodak has cut global staff to 18,800 from a peak of 145,300 in 1988. Jobs at its headquarter in Rochester, N.Y. were cut to 7,100 from 60,400 in 1982, according to the Associated Press.

The company is in discussions with potential lenders for $1 billion in financing to keep it afloat during bankruptcy proceedings, sources told the Journal.

Christopher Veronda, a spokesman for Eastman Kodak, told ABC News the company had no comment, “as it’s our long-standing policy not to comment on market rumors or speculation.”

If the company does file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it would operate normally and try to sell its 1,100 patents through a court-supervised bankruptcy auction, the Journal reported.

On Tuesday, Kodak disclosed the New York Stock Exchange warned the company’s shares could be delisted unless it gets its finances in order in the next six months.

The company has been called Eastman Kodak Company since 1892 under George Eastman , who tinkered with film and photography machines. In 1888, the word KODAK was registered as a trademark for a camera that could be used by a larger market, according to the company.

I really hope they can get it back together soon.

Kodak Shifts Focus, Zooms In On Commercial Printing


The photography pioneer Kodak has been dogged by bankruptcy rumors, its stock has tumbled, and its cash reserves have shrunk. But the company says it expects a strong fourth quarter as it fights toward profitability in 2012.

The New Kodak   

“We expect a very good fourth quarter,” said Kodak CEO Antonio Perez.

“All four of our digital growth businesses will expand in the fourth quarter,” Perez said.

But none of those are camera businesses. Kodak even recently sold off its image-sensor division, reportedly for a couple hundred million dollars.

Kodak has long been in the process of a painful transformation that’s seen tens of thousands of Kodak workers in the Rochester area lose their jobs.

When Perez talks about the company’s “digital transformation” and the “new Kodak,” he’s talking about four growth businesses in particular — three of which serve the commercial printing industry.

Perez says, “They will be the nucleus of the new Kodak. “In short, Kodak is becoming a company that makes high-end printing equipment — not a consumer staple whose brand once rivaled Coca-Cola’s in global ubiquity.

Mark Kaufman, an analyst who follows Kodak for Rafferty Capital Markets says: “This is an important quarter,because they’ve actually started to make some inroads in getting the cash on the balance sheet.” Kaufman expects Kodak to finish up the year in relatively decent shape.

An upcoming patent sale could net the company billions. Several of Kodak’s massive, $3 million printing presses will come online in Asia. Once they’re up and running, they run exclusively on Kodak inks and print heads. Kaufman even says a seasonal surge in movie film and catalog printing creates an inflow of cash.

“If you really think about who the end users are,” Kaufman says, “[they’re] more businesses than individual consumers.”

Of the four pillars of the “new Kodak,” only one — desktop inkjet printing — is consumer-oriented.

So long yellow film boxes…