Since 2018, the Kodak share price (NYSE: KODK) has largely been trading below US$3. Movements here and there, sure, occasionally even breaking the US$4 threshold. But nothing spectacular. This week, however, Kodak managed something cinematic when it came back from the dead – soaring by +1,481% in just two days.
Picture it now: you’ve been going long on Kodak since buying in circa 2013/2014 for US$30 a share. This, you decide, was going to be your retirement plan. Throughout the latter half of the 2010s, however, you experience heartbreak like no other, watching it plunge as low as US$1.50. All the while refusing to sell because then your loss would have been realised.
The price closes at US$2.10 on Friday and you spend the weekend contemplating your life choices. I’m talking rock bottom – curtains drawn, Captain Morgans in a styrofoam cup, ‘Marvins Room‘ by Drake on the UE Mini Boom. You wonder why you didn’t just YOLO’d every cent of spare capital into Tesla like the rest of your bros.
Then, something miraculous happens. The Kodak share price claws itself out from the abyss to US$10 on Tuesday. You think to yourself, “Gosh, life ain’t so heck.”. The next day, you watch it continue to climb, and climb, and climb… all the way up to US$60 a share at one point. After you pop a rod so fast you go blind for a full minute, that’s when you decide once and for all, “I’m never selling a damn thing. We’re going long until the day I die.”
So what exactly caused Kodak’s market valuation to leapfrog from US$92 million to US$1.5 billion in the same time it takes to get a totally-routine-nothing-to-be-worried-about blood test result back? For those of you who are out of the loop, it was announced that the company has earned a US$765 million government loan to produce crucial ingredients used in generic medicines under the Defense Production Act – generic medicines specifically designed to combat COVID-19. The objective right now, of course, being to fastrack the production of these drugs given the increasingly dire situation in the US.
That’s one hell of a pivot.