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Kodak: Death of an American icon

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Curtis Wood
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An article about Kodak's rough year is currently posted on CNN's web site.

It details some of the rough times Kodak is going through and just how much ground they have lost in recent months. It appears if they are not able to turn things around in a hurry, Kodak maybe just a fond memory for some of us.

-From the article:

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/2011/09/28/technology/thebuzz/chart_ws_stock_eastmankodakco_2011928121349.top.png
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Kodak is one of the most recognizable brands in American history. But the 119-year-old company has fallen on such hard times that some investors are now questioning if it can survive.

Shares of Eastman Kodak (EK, Fortune 500) have plunged more than 65% this year and trade for less than $2. Kodak lost more than a quarter of its value on Monday alone after the company disclosed that it needed to tap $160 million from a pre-existing $400 million credit line.

Making matters worse, rating agency Moody's downgraded several Kodak debt securities late Tuesday. That pushed Kodak even deeper into "junk" status.



The entire article is found here:
http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/28/technol … hpt=hp_bn5

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Gary Knotts
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Top Re: Kodak: Death of an American icon

To quote one of the comments from the article....
" They need to get back to basics. They are known for cameras, photos and printing. Get creative with your products, people will pay for quality if the product is good."

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AVD
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Top Re: Kodak: Death of an American icon

this is not just one rough year.  this is years of making the wrong decisions catching up to them.
I dont care how iconic they are. let bad business be rewarded with failure.

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B Browder Photo
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Top Re: Kodak: Death of an American icon

How many products do they NOT make anymore?  Tech Pan, Technidol developer,  HIE film and I am sure there are others.  That may be a small drop in the ocean of their troubles.  But I think if they would have kept with their photo products it would have helped instead of doing away with so much.  In other words they should push towards the "old school" stuff.  I feel there are many out there who want and would still buy their products if they were available.   But like I said if you are talking millions and millions of dollars in the hole that probably wouldn't be enough.  Not to mention the offset of cost to manufacture vs sales

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John Rayner
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Top Re: Kodak: Death of an American icon

I saw a quick sound bite the other day that Kodak has filed for bankruptcy.

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Curtis Wood
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John Rayner wrote:

I saw a quick sound bite the other day that Kodak has filed for bankruptcy.

-Kodak was meeting with a board of attorneys which fueled speculation to this last week.
-Kodak proper denies this and say they were actually meeting to forward some patents that they desperatly need to remonitize the company.

-Here is the most current story I could find from 4 days ago.

Eastman Kodak has said it has “no intention of filing for bankruptcy”.

The struggling US camera and printing group’s comments came after it confirmed it had hired a law firm well-known for handling bankruptcy protection cases, Jones Day.
Kodak said it was “not unusual for a company in transformation to explore all options”.
Shares in the firm fell 54% on Friday as fears persist about its future. It has not made a profit since 2007.
Kodak, synonymous with film photography for more than 100 years, has struggled to adapt to the digital age.
Last week it announced plans to borrow $160m (£103m) for “general corporate purposes”.
Kodak is now continuing to explore a sale of its digital imaging patents, worth an estimated $2bn.
Mark Kaufman, an analyst at Rafferty Capital Markets, said: “I don’t believe bankruptcy is inevitable.
“This is a pretty valuable portfolio, they should get a good price.
“They need to get this [sale] out of the way. They need to sell this portfolio, raise some type of cash.”
The company currently has a market value of $210m. This compares with $31bn at its height in February 1997.


Two Articles on this are here:
http://seeker401.wordpress.com/2011/10/ … ay-cheese/
http://www.lawofficesofladyjustice.com/ … ankruptcy/

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John Rayner
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Top Re: Kodak: Death of an American icon

Thanks CW. I should have known better than to trust the validity of anything off of TV. They are getting about as accurate as the some of the other less reputable publications.

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AVD
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They are probably going chromes up but the fact that Jones Day is involved is meaningless.  Jones Day is also famous for anti trust structuring and was the firm that set up the legal structure of ICANN. Does this mean Kodak is considering running the internet? JD is a big-box law firm and all the big box firms are famous for doing all the big box stuff. That's what they do.
Just bad reporting trying to make a rumour look stronger.

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Kevlar Vest Girl
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AVD wrote:

They are probably going chromes up but the fact that Jones Day is involved is meaningless.  Jones Day is also famous for anti trust structuring and was the firm that set up the legal structure of ICANN. Does this mean Kodak is considering running the internet? JD is a big-box law firm and all the big box firms are famous for doing all the big box stuff. That's what they do.
Just bad reporting trying to make a rumour look stronger.

I get the biggest kick out of you and your supposed insider info rants. You constantly write crap like that emboldened, when you don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about. "Famous for all that big box stuff"... Ye Gods, you sound like a talking head that didn't graduate high school.

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AVD
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I don't reply to trolls.

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Kevlar Vest Girl
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AVD wrote:

I don't reply to trolls.

Since you didn't quote me, the only way you were able to post your nonsense was by hitting a button designated with the word "Reply". Once again, you can't seem to get out of your own way.

It's quite obvious you know nothing about the supposed demise of Kodak, you simply like the clacking sound of your keyboard. In an effort to stay on topic, and to avoid garnering more embarrassment, you might consider keeping your dumb ass comments to yourself.

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AVD
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I still don't reply to trolls.  go ahead and ruin the thread if you wish.

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SLE Photography
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Gentlemen, if there're substantive replies on the topic or rebuttals with facts for someone else's posts they're welcome.  If you're going to yell I'll pull the posts off in to their own thread & you can fight there.

smile

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Peter Flanagan
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Top Re: Kodak: Death of an American icon

Kodak was a very successful chemical company, and a very unsuccesful consumer products company.  It seemed like every attempt to integrate vertically was a misadventure.

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A M Johnson
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I'm going to WPPI again this year. It will be interesting to see what Kodak does with their booth and if fuji includes film in theirs this time.

Web Site and blog at Cafe1956.com Follow me on Twitter I'm shooting mostly film these days...

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Kevlar Vest Girl
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Peter Flanagan wrote:

Kodak was a very successful chemical company, and a very unsuccesful consumer products company.  It seemed like every attempt to integrate vertically was a misadventure.

Until the advent of digital photography, which gained serious momentum just within the last 10 years, Kodak was hugely successful in the consumer marketplace. You may not like how they went about their business, as most photographers seem prone to criticizing their behavior, but to say they weren't successful is to indulge in revisionist history.

My understanding, based on statements from a friend that worked at VP level in Kodak's marketing department (Dan Steinhardt), is that their business model leaned very heavily upon industrial sales of raw chemicals, and that consumer product sales were simply a bonus. That information is about 15 years old, I have no idea how it plays out in Kodak's current daily functions, but it does lead me to wonder what happened to the company direction over the last 15 years.

As far as the vertical integration is concerned, Kodak, along with every other major player in the digital marketplace, suffered a mighty blow when Apple came out with the 840AV series of computers. I know, because I was stuck with a $1.5 million mortgage on drum scanners, film recorders, and contract proofing devices right after that computer came out. In conjunction with a relatively cheap cut of Photoshop, it was the first truly viable alternative to Scitex, Shema, Quantel and Barco systems, and it only cost a few grand to buy. For an investment of about $5000.00, an astute imager could compete with the big houses by offering a digital product for a small percentage of what it would normally cost. Kodak, in an effort to stay in front of the consumer tidal wave that allowed anyone with a mouse to prepare files for print, bought Scitex. They divested themselves, at a huge loss, of the only functioning part left of that purchase, when they sold Leaf to Phase about two years ago. At this point in time, I believe Fuji is the only major company left in the graphic arts marketplace. They supply direct to plate machines and materials, as well as a proofer or two. Scitex, Shema, and Quantel have all gone the way of the horse and buggy, and Barco is barely hanging on in the textiles industry.

Lastly, lets not forget that Kodak was one of the very first companies to introduce a viable DSLR to the marketplace. Possibly, they could have made a better run at Canon and Nikon than they did, but that's the perfect vision of hindsight talking. I believe the incredible shift in the photography market, caused by the explosion of digital imaging, caught many companies off guard. To say they were historically inept in the consumer marketplace is simply untrue, and has little to do with their current problems. I would assert there are fewer farriers in the world, now that the automobile seems to have satisfied our transportation needs.

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A M Johnson
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Top Re: Kodak: Death of an American icon

Peter Flanagan wrote:

Kodak was a very successful chemical company, and a very unsuccesful consumer products company.  It seemed like every attempt to integrate vertically was a misadventure.

I agree with this. Kodak outside of film or chems was a disaster. IIRC, the only exception to this is their sensors. Their camera, optical products and everything else was mismanaged to the point that the market share was driven to zero.

Web Site and blog at Cafe1956.com Follow me on Twitter I'm shooting mostly film these days...

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Emeritus
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History extends back past the age of digital cameras.  Kodak was, at one time, a VERY successful camera maker.  As a single example:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodak_Brownie

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SLE Photography
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Emeritus wrote:

History extends back past the age of digital cameras.  Kodak was, at one time, a VERY successful camera maker.  As a single example:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodak_Brownie

You mean the camera they said would ruin photography for the pros by making it accessible to the common man?  big_smile

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Emeritus
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Yeah, that one.  Not bad for a company that isn't good at consumer products, huh?

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A M Johnson
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Citing examples in an era that Kodak was managed well isn't apples and apples. It wasn't the same company then. If the Brownie came out in 2005 the management would have figured out a way to fuck it up and lose money.

Web Site and blog at Cafe1956.com Follow me on Twitter I'm shooting mostly film these days...

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I guess we need some kind of a scorecard so we can tell when a company "isn't the same company" as the same company at some other time.  When, exactly, did EK become a different company, and how can we tell?

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A M Johnson
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We can tell by the R&D and marketing depts efforts. Pre mid 1990's, Kodak was a well run company. By the early 2000's, they were making disastrous decisions that led Kodak to be the company it is today.

Web Site and blog at Cafe1956.com Follow me on Twitter I'm shooting mostly film these days...

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Kevlar Vest Girl
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A M Johnson wrote:

We can tell by the R&D and marketing depts efforts. Pre mid 1990's, Kodak was a well run company. By the early 2000's, they were making disastrous decisions that led Kodak to be the company it is today.

Can you cite what some of those bad decisions were?

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Kevlar Vest Girl
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Bumping this to the top to make sure I get a response.