Kodak Stock Battered After U.S. Puts The Breaks on $765 Million Loan

Options bears have already been piling on the stock

Digital Content Manager
Aug 10, 2020 at 9:19 AM
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The party is over for Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:KODK) after the U.S. Government paused its $765 million loan due to suspicions of "recent wrongdoing," according to the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. According to reports, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into stock options that were awarded to executives of the company just one day before the loan was announced. 

KODK is off 38.4% at $9.02 ahead of the bell, set to open back near its late-July levels. This comes just a few weeks after the equity grabbed an all-time high of $60 on initial news of the loan. Since then, however, the stock hasn't been able to maintain its footing, quickly slipping from its record peak to consolidate around the $15 level. Eastman Kodak stock is now down nearly 60% for the month of August. 

Despite last month's impressive peak, options bears have been targeting the stock en masse. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 3.75 puts were picked up for every call in the last 10 weeks. This ratio stands higher than all but 3% of readings from the past year, suggesting this appetite for bearish bets is unusual. 

Short sellers have ramped up their activity as well. Short interest is up 44.9% in the last two reporting periods, and the 1.71 million shares sold short make up 9.4% of KODK's available float. In other words, it would take a little under six days to buy back these bearish bets at the equity's average pace of trading. 

 

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