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Why Eastman Kodak Stock Rocketed 83% This Morning

By Rich Smith – Sep 16, 2020 at 12:10PM

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A company-sponsored probe into possible insider trading sees no wrongdoing, but it's not time to celebrate just yet.

What happened

Shares of erstwhile camera-film giant Eastman Kodak (KODK 1.49%) exploded out of the gate this morning, rocketing 83% higher before pausing to catch their breath and retracing a bit. As of 11:20 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, however, the stock was still up quite a lot at 37.8%.

And all because of something Eastman Kodak said.

Auditor in business suit examines financial records with a pen and a magnifying glass

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

As The Wall Street Journal reported this morning, a committee hired by Eastman Kodak's board to investigate the circumstances surrounding the company's acceptance of a $765 million loan from the U.S. government in July found that Kodak broke no laws.

The loan was to help Kodak produce pharmaceutical ingredients for the fight against the coronavirus, and it sparked a rally in Kodak shares -- even before the loan was officially announced. The investigation that followed centered on theories that insider trading might have been encouraged by information leaks within the company, and that Kodak may have given stock options to high-level executives in advance of the loan's announcement, to enable them to profit from it. But the special committee, hired through Kodak's law firm Akin Gump, found no such wrongdoing.  

Now what

But there's still the matter of federal investigations into the company. Just yesterday, for example, the Journal reported that the inspector general of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) is opening a review of the loan. And this is on top of ongoing investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and several Congressional committees.  

There's no assurance these other investigations will come to the same conclusions that Kodak's own probe has drawn. In the meantime, the IDFC has suspended payment of the loan amount to Kodak, and the monies are unlikely to be released until these other investigations are concluded.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Eastman Kodak Stock Quote
Eastman Kodak
KODK
$4.78 (1.49%) $0.07

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