Kodak on the brink of bankruptcy
The iconic American company -- once an industrial powerhouse -- just doesn't have the cash to continue operating.
If the sale falls through, bankruptcy is all but assured. Kodak already said it will run out of cash if it can't sell the patents or get enough loans.
The stock has plummeted 28% Wednesday to 47 cents. Kodak shares went from $20 in the late 1970s to a peak of around $90 in the mid-1990s. With a high and steady dividend yield, it was known as a safe buy. But now, the end is near for a legendary American company.
I wrote a long piece about Kodak in November, and said the company's problems were bigger than just the move away from traditional film photography. Kodak made bad decisions and refused to adapt to changing times until it was too late.
Kodak plunged into digital with a vengeance at the turn of the century, and by 2005 it had topped the U.S. market for digital camera sales. But there was a problem: Digital cameras didn't have the profit margins that film did.
And so Kodak embarked on a technology crusade, offering everything from the super-fast scanning service called Scan the World to online photo-sharing tools like EasyShare. The company's chief executive, Antonio Perez, was optimistic: "In two to three years, this will be seen as one of the most successful transformations in the history of our country," he told BusinessWeek in 2006.
But Kodak again missed the boat. The prices of digital cameras would continue to drop to the point where profit was almost nonexistent. And the digital-photo services Kodak invested in were lost in a crowded field of innovation.
Eden...you're right. Kodak was the world's best film maker for decades, but never diversified when its competition was. Their printers and other products have been unreliable for years, their price points have become noncompetitive, and their decision to outsource all their production overseas has ruined them with poor quality control. They just refused to adapt to a changing domestic and world market, figuring on consumer loyalty -- which evaporated, as consumers have become more sophistocated shoppers and demand quality products at a fair price. They spelled their own downfall when they fell years behind in digital camera technology, and never could reclaim the customer base who left for manufacturers who had it.
Kodak's demise is much like Radio Shack, who introduced the TRS-80 in the late 70s/early 80s as one of the first PCs designed for home use, but when they tried to make their Tandy PC (anyone remember that one?) compatible with the new IBM-PC, shrinking profit margins and a lack of economies of scale led Radio Shack to exit the computer-manufacturing market by the mid-1990s. They had a tiger by the tail, but didn't have the infrastructure or the in-house ability to make it work.
Anyone like to see the CEOs paycheck or find out if he got huge bonuses for his "wonderful" managing abilities? Back when railroads were the great investment - tycoons would buy them - suck out all the profit as the railroad went broke. The tycoons got out with fortunes and the investors got the shaft.
Our do nothing Congress needs to do their job and find ways to ensure that investors have more control over how these companies are run - mostly - how much the CEO gets paid.
hey there's a really new camera that seems to be getting a lot of raves..maybe you heard of it..I think their called Canon.
Bought three Canon Printers - all were defective - would buy anything from them at this time.
Bought two Epson Printers - when the power went out - the ink cartridge has a chip that then said the (full) cartridge was out of ink. Happened every time - the printer would then have to have a new ink cartridge. Always wonder how Epson thought people would then buy another printer from them.
Companies kill their own business - due to their greed and their stupidity.
Kodak is typical of most American Companies. They got arrogant, got behind in technology, built poorly made products, and expected their customers to continue purchasing their stuff. Well, American shoppers are more intelligent than that and they turned to products made out of the country whose quality far surpassed anything made here in the USA, televisions, cameras, automobiles, appliances. It is sad to see another American icon disappearing, but corporate greed, CEO's who only care about their bonus checks at the end of the year, and poor workmanship are the cause once again.
Kodak should've came out with a line of survival rations for times like we're in these days. A company has got to diversify, look at Ford, they made charcoal briquettes for decades; I personally thought it was silly when they sold Kingsford, but sales have got to be in a slump, the only meat people can afford these days is spam.
Don't forget canned bacon!
The government allows every foreign nation to import there cameras and crap into this country tariff free and makes it almost impossible for a company like kodak to make a profit.
China steals copyrights makes substandard products and still gets to sell there crap here.
It is time we get a businessman in the white house and turn this country around.
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