Is Kodak Relevant Again?
For decades the technology world was ruled by Eastman Kodak. Kodak's stock traded on the Dow Jones stock exchange and was considered a juggernaut of a firm. The camera market was dominated by their products which were a must-have item 50 years ago, the way Apple products are today. In 1967 Kodak enjoyed a market capitalization of $177 billion and was the second largest company in the US.
Unfortunately for Kodak, the camera market undertook a dramatic shift in the 2000's. The digital camera, dominated by cameras on smartphones, took over the market and put analog cameras in the past.
In 2012 Kodak filed for bankruptcy. The decline of an American icon was complete.
However, as saplings grow in a forest fire, there is new life in Kodak yet. The legendary company that brought us many of our beloved cameras has found new life as a printing company. Over decades of innovating camera technology, Kodak filed many patents useful for printing and recently has focused its efforts on becoming a next generation printing company.
The global print market at $980 billion in 2018 is still tremendous in size and is forecast to be flat at 48 trillion global sheets produced over the next 5 years according to Pira Research. If Kodak can grab a small fraction of this market is there is tremendous potential for value to be potentially created. However, innovation occurs rapidly in the world of technology so the risk is still high for a potential Kodak turnaround.
Written by Alexander Fleiss