What happened

Shares of Eastman Kodak (NYSE:KODK) slumped 21.5% in October, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The extremely volatile stock lost ground last month after posting a 47.5% gain across September's trading. 

KODK Chart

KODK data by YCharts

Kodak's share price has seen huge swings following an announcement in July that it had secured a $765 million loan to produce chemicals used in generic drugs that could potentially treat COVID-19. There doesn't appear to have been much in the way of business-specific news driving last month's sell-off, and the pullback is likely a reaction to the big gains the stock saw in September. 

A line falling on a stock chart.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Kodak's share price surged following the initial loan announcement in July, but it subsequently saw big sell-offs following news of an insider trading investigation and the federal loan being put on hold. The stock soared again last month after the company announced the independent review team it had hired to probe actions by the company had cleared executives of insider trading. Sell-offs for the stock in October reflect a reassessment of whether the company might be hurt by class action lawsuits from investors and whether the big push into chemicals will really drive a turnaround for the company. 

Now what

Kodak has posted gains early in November's trading amid momentum for the broader market. The company's share price is up nearly 5% in the month so far. 

KODK Chart

KODK data by YCharts

Kodak's loan from the federal government has been put on hold, but the company is still looking to move forward with its big push into manufacturing generic drug chemicals. With its camera and film business likely primed for continued decline over the long term, Kodak does need to find new growth drivers, but it's unclear whether the focus on chemicals production for generic pharmaceuticals (which is typically a low-margin business) will move the company in the right direction. 

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