Kodak in Free Fall: Stock Plunges 60%

Struggling Eastman Kodak (NYSE:EK) has reportedly hired restructuring law firm Jones Day and is mulling a potential bankruptcy, sending the once-iconic imaging company’s stock plummeting more than 60% Friday afternoon.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Rochester, N.Y.-based Kodak has tapped law firm Jones Day for restructuring advice amid increasing concerns about its ability to survive. Kodak, which is 131 years old and employs almost 19,000 workers, is said to be considering a bankruptcy filing, Bloomberg news reported.

The reports fueled an enormous plunge in Kodak’s shares and triggered several circuit breakers that are aimed at keeping order in the marketplace.

Kodak’s stock, which was worth $20 three years ago, hit 60-year lows this week. After tumbling to 54 cents at one point, they were recently down 57.99% to 71 cents.

Kodak was once synonymous with the photography world, but has seriously struggled to adapt to an industry that has gone almost strictly digital.

Representatives from Kodak downplayed the talk of hiring Jones Day, which advises clients on more than just bankruptcies.

"We're a large company, and we employ a number of outside consultants. We don't itemize who those consultants are or what they do for us," said Kodak spokesman told the Journal "As we sit here today, the company has no intention of filing for bankruptcy."

Kodak's cash has dried up as intellectual property licensing and lawsuits have slowed in recent quarters. In an attempt to raise funds, Kodak has recently hired investment bank Lazard to help it sell its slew of patents at an auction.

A number of possible suitors have signed confidentiality agreements, including Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Bloomberg reported. A bankruptcy filing could pave the way for a sale of these assets, which could bring in about $3 billion, the news agency reported.

While shareholders have expressed fatigue with the company’s struggle to rebound, its board of directors is not considering replacing CEO Antonio Perez, who took the top job in 2005, the Journal reported