Back from the dead?

By rosalindr, August 13, 2013

I just received an email for Forbes Newsletters with the teaser, “Meet the company behind the boldest transformation the technology industry has seen in years.”

At first I thought the company might be Kodak. The following paragraph refers to the CEO as ”She.” Not many big legacy companies, or any companies for that matter, have female CEO’s.
”This brilliant and dynamic CEO made a simple, yet absolutely critical decision that has not only changed the trajectory of the entire corporation, but it could change the path of your financial future as well.
She decided that instead of simply providing her customers with its one (albeit indispensable (sic)) piece of business equipment it would begin to sell business services as well.
In announcing the news she said, ”This transformation is earth-shattering for our company.”
I whole–heartedly agree. As I’m about to show you, her bold bet is working in a very, very big way.”

I looked at the Kodak website and indeed they are getting into business process outsourcing (BPO), but I was taken aback by the penny-stock price – only 12 cents a share. OMG, who would have thought the mighty Kodak could have fallen so low?

Another line in the email made me rethink my first guess. ”Throughout the 1960s this company was a formidable business legend. Some say it created the single–most successful commercial product in U.S. history. On the strength of this one product alone it built a billion–dollar business.
It even reached that elusive pinnacle of branding, where its product name turned into a verb (think ”Google” or ”photoshop!”).”

The name ”Kodak” might have been a verb in the 1920’s, but not recently. Then it hit me. Another big corporation coming back from the dead with a name used as a verb is – Xerox. I looked up Xerox and it too has a female CEO. Maybe only Zombie companies hire female CEO’s these days. I could add Yahoo to that list too.

I read Travis’ recent articles on Xerox. He announced he recently bought back in for around $9 a share. It is up to $10.50 now. But Kodak is 12 cents! I can’t get over that. Is it worth risking a few hundred dollars for a few thousand shares?
I bought Ford at $2.50 and never looked back. I believe Kodak can come back from the dead. I buy stocks in companies I like. I haven’t used a Xerox in years, but I bought a little Easy Share camera last year and for what it cost I could have bought 500 shares of Kodak stock at twelve cents!

So what do any of you think about investing in Kodak now? Is it worth taking a chance on?


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M JRosalind RogoffTravis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe Recent comment authors

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Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe

Kodak is really owned by their creditors — the company comes out of bankruptcy proceedings soon, it’s almost 100 percent certain that current shareholders will receive nothing and the old stock that’s now being traded will be canceled. I can’t give personal advice, but my assumption is that the stock is worth zero now. If I thought Kodak could return to viability, I’d wait and buy the new stock that’s issued to creditors once it starts trading. And you’re right about the tease being for Xerox this time around, I’m in the process of finishing up a piece on that… Read more »

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There is an article on that says:

“Kodak’s restructuring plan depends on a $406 million rights offering that calls for the company to sell 85% of its new common shares to certain creditors. Kodak’s unsecured creditors and retirees are eligible to buy up to 6 million new Kodak shares under the proposed rights offering. The restructuring plan also calls for them to share in cash and warrants to buy more stock.

The company’s old shares will be canceled and existing shareholders will be wiped out.”

So no, I don’t think it’s worth taking a chance on.


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