News of pharmaceutical deal sends Kodak stock soaring

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 23: American flags are on display on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on July 23, 2020 in New York City. On Wednesday July 22, the market had its best day in 6 weeks. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHAM) — It has been a long time since the New York State Exchange has seen shares of Eastman Kodak Company skyrocket in value.

As word spread Tuesday about the Rochester-based company's public-private partnership with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to produce pharmaceutical ingredients for generic medicines, the price of Kodak stock began to rise.

For some perspective, when the U.S. market closed on Monday, July 27, one share of Eastman Kodak stock was $2.62. By the time the opening bell sounded at the NYSE Tuesday morning, the price had nearly quadrupled to $9.65 per share.

That was just the beginning.

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Trading had to be halted twice on Wednesday because of the dramatic increase in trading of Eastman Kodak stock. At peak late Wednesday morning, share prices hit $60.

"Last week the company was worth $100 million, meaning if you had $100 million, you could buy all of Eastman Kodak," said George Conboy, chairman of Brighton Securities. "Right now at $33 a share, it's worth about $1.4 billion. And at its peak this earlier morning, $2.6 billion."

The heightened interest came after President Donald Trump's trade adviser Dr. Peter Navarro and other federal officials joined Kodak CEO Jim Continenza to outline a $765 million federal loan through the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) as part of a national effort to produce more generic prescription drugs for Americans in the United States.

"I haven't seen a jump like this in...I can't tell you the last time," Conboy said.

In order to sustain the momentum it is currently seeing, Conboy said Kodak will need to get the loan disbursements, sell chemicals at competitive prices, and build out or refurbish the facilities that will be used to make the pharmaceutical drugs.