Shares of Eastman Kodak (KODK) surged as much as 46.2% on Thursday before pulling back and ending the trading day up 16.3%. The sharp upward move came immediately after CEO Jim Continenza tweeted about Kodak's partnership with Microsoft (MSFT -0.79%).
An announcement of a major new deal with Microsoft would certainly be exciting news for Kodak's investors. A big-time collaboration with the tech titan would likely bring new revenue and profit opportunities for Kodak, which could surely use them.
Unfortunately, Continenza's somewhat confusing tweet was actually regarding a partnership Kodak previously announced back in December. Although Kodak is collaborating with Microsoft to build a suite of printer software solutions, investors had already written off the deal as unlikely to have much of an impact on its long-term business prospects. The pullback in Kodak's stock price later in the trading day likely came about as more traders began to realize this.
Kodak has had more than its fair share of kerfuffles with investor communications. After Kodak's share price soared in late July when it was awarded a $765 million Defense Production Act loan intended to help it launch a new pharmaceutical supply business, the Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation into whether the company improperly disclosed information to investors. The SEC also examined whether Kodak's executives illegally profited from stock options that were granted to them one day before the loan was announced.
Although regulators reportedly found no wrongdoing on the part of Kodak or its management team, the incident left a bad taste in the mouths of many investors. Moreover, Kodak continues to face formidable challenges in its core printing business, and its hopes of becoming a serious player in the pharmaceutical supply industry are questionable at best. Thus, shareholders who benefited from today's gains in Kodak's stock price might want to consider taking profits.