If Eastman Kodak
Today, there's further evidence that the old film-chemical giant is behind the curve. Kodak announced plans to shutter even more of its traditional film factories, dropping another 1,000 workers from the payroll. It was pretty clear last quarter that such a move was forthcoming.
Sure, Kodak's got a market-share lead for cameras in the U.S., beating rivals like Canon
Who wants to fight that battle? You're guaranteed to take your lumps if you wade into the arena and square off with the likes of Hewlett-Packard
Still, the stock's been soundly trashed, and you might expect an Inside Value type like me to investigate whether or not these shares are cheap for good reason, or just plain cheap. Personally, I wouldn't touch them. To me, Kodak exemplifies a firm that was too big, too gray-desk-and-crew cut to stay with the times.
Kodak lost the film wars years ago, when its aging color emulsions couldn't compete with superior, inexpensive products from Fuji. And it lagged severely in the digital department. Its digital strategy is mired in products facing cutthroat competition, and it long ago missed its chance to capitalize on the "film" of today, flash memory; it watched the phenomenon from afar and then belatedly chose to do a deal with sputtering Lexar
I don't think Kodak will ever get it. A brand name, no matter how well known, can't fix everything.
For related Foolishness:
- Is Kodak is a perfect example of why vigilance beats visionary?
- Or is it an example of why we should seek out stocks for the next generation?
- The picture at Kodak is not so pretty.
Seth Jayson would not be surprised to see Kodak disappear within a few years. At the time of publication, he had positions in no company mentioned here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Dell is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Fool rules are here.