Kodak shares surpass 40% as government loan is suspended as allegations investigated
Using a slow shutter speed, an attendee is blurred as they walk past the Kodak booth during CES 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 10, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
David Becker | Getty Images
Actions of Eastman Kodak plunged more than 42% to the low on Monday after a federal agency said it was reviewing a previously announced $ 765 million loan for the photography pioneer to produce drug ingredients.
“The recent allegations of wrongdoing raise serious concerns. We will not go any further until these allegations are clarified,” the US International Development Finance Corporation said in a tweet on Friday.
The funding review comes as the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating how the company disclosed the deal with the government, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The investigation is also expected to examine stock options that were granted to executive chairman James Continenza prior to the announcement.
After the initial drop in early trading, stocks rallied somewhat to end the day down 27.89%. At some point in the morning, the title was halted due to volatility.
The stock has been on a wild ride since the funding announcement on Tuesday, July 28. But trading activity resumed the day before the official announcement, which raised eyebrows in the streets.
The day before the deal was announced, the stock jumped 25% and saw 1,645,719 shares trade hands, far exceeding the average daily trading volume of 236,479 for the previous year, according to the FactSet data.
When news of the deal broke, Kodak, which was trading for less than $ 2, skyrocketed. In two days, the stock was trading at $ 60, with 284 million shares changing hands. In just 24 hours, more than 100,000 investors added the stock to their accounts on Robinhood, an app popular with Millennial investors, according to Robintrack data. The stock was so volatile the day after the announcement – at one point it was up over 600% – that it was halted 20 times during the session.
But momentum didn’t hold and on Friday the stock closed at $ 14.88, 75% below its recent high. However, the current price is still over 400% above the level where the stock was trading before the loan was announced.
The loan, which was the first of its kind under the Defense Production Act, was intended to help the company in its pivot to drug production. With this funding, Kodak announced that it would expand existing facilities in Rochester, New York and St. Paul, Minnesota as part of a new Kodak Pharmaceuticals business, which would produce drugs to treat a wide variety of diseases.
“Our 33rd use of the Defense Production Act will mobilize Kodak to manufacture generic active pharmaceutical ingredients,” President Donald Trump said when announcing the deal. “We will bring back our jobs and make America the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of medical products.”
The president later reconsidered his comments, saying he was “not involved” in the loan.
Kodak communicated the news to local reporters in Rochester, New York, where its headquarters are located, on July 27, then asked several media outlets that had picked up the story to suppress it, which they did. According to a Kodak spokesperson, the company’s internal communications team “had no plans to release the news.”
“We’re very comfortable getting to the end of the game,” James Continenza, executive chairman of Eastman Kodak, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” after the deal was announced. “We have signed a letter of interest and have been working on it for a few months. We feel very comfortable,” he added.
Documents filed with the Security and Exchange Commission show that on June 23, Continenza purchased approximately 46,700 additional shares. On the same date, Philippe Katz, director, bought 5,000 shares. In addition, the day before the transaction was announced, the company granted Continenza options for 1.75 million shares, of which just under 29% vested immediately.
White House economic adviser Peter Navarro congratulated the DFC on its decision on Friday, saying he was “very disappointed” at the allegations.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Has asked the SEC to review the transactions that took place before the official announcement.
“There were several instances of unusual business activity prior to the announcement, raising questions as to whether one or more persons may have engaged in insider trading or unauthorized disclosure of material and unauthorized information. public regarding the upcoming Defense Production Act loan of $ 765 million, “Warren wrote in an open letter.
The US House Financial Services Committee has also called for an investigation of the company, citing “growing concern about insider trading.”
Kodak has previously said it will cooperate with any potential investigation, and on Friday the company said it was launch an internal investigation.
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