Eastman Kodak stock more than tripled on Tuesday after the company revealed a temporary pivot to pharmaceuticals in support of the US response to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Kodak will soon play a role in curbing the US’ reliance on medicines from outside sources like China — starting with producing ingredients for generic drugs like the Donald Trump-touted hydroxychloroquine.
Kodak chief exec Jim Continenza told WSJ he expects basic pharma ingredients to eventually make up 30% to 40% of the company’s overall business.
Kodak took a $765 million loan from the US International Development Finance Corporation to fund the shift, which is effectively a government bank. The deal is reportedly similar to a commercial loan, and must be paid off over 25 years.
Kodak‘s market value was roughly $115 million before today’s rally, and sits at around $390 million at pixel time.
The last time Kodak stock rallied like this was in 2018, when it revealed its intention to fund a blockchain-powered rights management platform with an initial coin offering for branded cryptocurrency, of all things.
Needless to say, that didn’t work out as Kodak had probably hoped. Here’s to hoping it fairs better as an all-American pharma company.