Eastman Kodak, the company founded in 1892 by inventor George Eastman, which brought photography to the masses a century ago, faces a gloomy future amid reports that it is on the edge of bankruptcy.
Never able to rebuild after the digital wave blew its core film business away from the mass market, the Wall Street Journal reported late on Wednesday that Kodak has begun preparing to ask for protection from creditors.
On Tuesday, the New York Stock Exchange told the company that it faces delisting from the exchange if it cannot get its stock price back above $1.0 level.
On Thursday, the shares sank 10.6% to 42 cents as Moody's downgraded the company's debt rating to a very low Caa3, citing "a heightened probability of a bankruptcy over the near term."
The company's chief communications officer quit on Thursday, following in the wake of three board directors in the past two weeks.
The WSJ said the company is still hoping that it can sell off some of its valuable patent portfolio to raise money. But if that last-ditch effort fails, it could file for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 protection, later this month or in February, the Journal said citing sources familiar with the issue.
That would place the jobs of its 19,000 employees in question. Kodak declined to comment on the reports, but its books have been awash with red ink for years.
The last time it reported a net profit was the small gain in 2007.