There are plenty of reasons why Eastman Kodak (NYSE:EK) has suffered recently. A failure to adapt to digital photo trends during the past decade is a large part of that narrative, but there are other reasons too. Nearly constant reorganizations since the 1990s have left the company without direction and without much hope.
After losing money 12 of the past 15 quarters, it appears Kodak could be on its last legs. CEO Antonio Perez — who absurdly serves on President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness — denies bankruptcy claims seemingly every week since Kodak rattled Wall Street in late September with its corporate debt antics.
But as the old saying goes, “Who should we believe — you or our lying eyes?”
Kodak’s debt is a staggering 160% of the company’s current market capitalization. You can argue that it has been unfairly oversold — currently under $1 — so a pop in share price could roll that back considerably. But not enough to change the fact that the creditors are at the gate and Kodak is scrambling to fight them off in a credit market that is hostile even to fairly healthy companies.
As I said a month ago, America’s Kodak moment might be over forever.