Kodak shares soar 500 percent after federal government loan for drug manufacturing

Pharmacy Aisle by Paolo Gamba is licensed under Flickr CC BY 2.0
Shares of Eastman Kodak soared early Wednesday after the federal government announced that the iconic camera maker would receive a loan to open pharmaceutical factories in the U.S.

Kodak stock rose as much as 500 percent on Wednesday, forcing the New York Stock Exchange to halt trading of the company’s shares several times after they vaulted from $8 to as high as $53. The share price dropped back down to roughly $20 shortly before 11 a.m.

The U.S International Development Finance Corp. announced Tuesday that it would lend Kodak $765 million to launch Kodak Pharmaceuticals. The loan will be furnished under the Defense Production Act (DPA), a 1950 law that gives the president the authority to order private-sector companies to produce goods and equipment crucial to national defense.

President Trump invoked the DPA in April to produce protective gear, ventilators and other materials needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The president said Wednesday that the loan to Kodak will be a crucial step toward shifting the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain from nations such as China to domestic factories, an issue under growing attention amid the pandemic.