Kodak Stock’s unusual activity prompts SEC to investigate
If you thought it was strange to see shares of Eastman Kodak (NYSE: KODK) dramatically increase the day before the company officially announces an important deal with the US government, you are not alone. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating how Eastman Kodak disclosed a $ 765 million government loan to produce ingredients for generic drugs.
During the trading week ended July 31, Kodak shares climbed 941%, with most of the gain coming after Kodak released an official statement regarding the imaging company’s new direction. of 132 years of manufacturing generic drugs.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday called on the SEC to investigate the events that led to unusually high trading volume for Kodak shares on Monday, pushing them up 25% the day before the official announcement of Kodak.
During an interview on CNBC, Kodak’s executive chairman told investors the company had known about the deal for more than a week before making an official announcement. This is bad form, but leaving inside information that will obviously shift a stock’s price is not illegal. However, trading on this information before it is publicly available, even if you are just an ordinary investor who received a good tip from an insider, is illegal.
The chances of this investigation leading to an indictment seem extremely slim. The company released information about the loan to local reporters on Monday, July 27, a full day before formalizing the announcement. Several news outlets released the information ahead of the announcement, instead of waiting as they were supposed to. Early versions were quickly removed at Kodak’s request, but it will be difficult to argue that the information was not already public before the official announcement.
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