Kodak(!?) Early Stock Movements

Firstly, yes this is a blast from the past for the “Eastman Kodak Company” NYSE:KODK (which filed for bankruptcy in 2012), probably most famous for its photographic film. (Kodak was an early innovator in the digital camera space, but it didn’t become the blockbuster/pivot they had hoped for…)

Kodak was awarded a $765 million loan from the US Government (for producing drug ingredients). That figure is nearly 8x KODK’s market capitalization on July 24, about $92 million. It’s a huge loan for KODK. To emphasize, it’s a very very material development for KODK. But the news and information was haphazardly released, and there was a lot of early trading which got ahead of a big upswing in the stock price.

This Fox Business article does a great job of the more detailed timeline, but the rough notes are:

  • Monday July 27: Tweets and local articles are alluding to an “initiative” between KODK and the US Government.
  • Tuesday July 28: WSJ published an article, and KODK announcing later in the afternoon

Now, in my opinion, is an illustration of everything that is wrong with this situation…

KODK price and volume July 23 – 30, 2020, labels A,B,C

Label A: Monday July 27, the day before the formal announcement, and tweets & local articles alluding to the “initiative”, the KODK stock gains 24% and the trading volume is 17x the trailing two days! That’s a lot of activity based on not much news. It’s a gray area, since information was published online it might not be insider trading, but it just looks clumsy between both KODK and the US Government. At some point, too much information was shared and too early. For those who did buy on Monday…

B: The news of the loan is distributed during the course of Tuesday July 28. This is a loan. Not some new product, revenue, or M&A/transaction. For a company struggling to reinvent itself after a 2012 bankruptcy, the loan announcement attracts enough street money to triple the stock price. Zombie market much?

C: Wednesday July 29 and the news has been out for a full day. My speculation, but now the common or retail investor is wanting to get in on the action and chasing the gains. Such as from the convenience of smart phones using Robinhood. Money pours in and KODK is up another 4x!

In the span of three business days, KODK was up 1580%! I understand it’s the nature of the game for people to chase the gains on Wednesday, but the early news bits on Monday just look so unprofessional to anyone who was involved in formalizing the loan. Especially in these extraordinary times, the public markets deserve better!

Context and Perspective for Mindful Professionalism

Almost ten years into IT/software consulting has taught me how to stay mindful, enthusiastic, and maintain perspective. I was in my backyard and happened upon an analogy with some morning glories I’m trying to grow.

“How did I get here? Why am I here?”

Not: “What am I doing here? How did I get myself stuck here, all by myself…”
Rather: “Let me learn all I can about the space I’m in. I’m sure there’s more to learn and I’m sure someone else would find my insights & experience valuable.”

“We’ve come a long, long way together…”

Not: “Look at everything I have to keep track of, all the loose ends I left behind, and the crap I’ll probably have to deal with again at some point.”
Rather: “I made it to where I am not just because of my successes, but also from the failures and having learned from them. I can extract confidence from either type of outcome, and this is my inner portfolio.”

“Where I’m going, I might not need a road…”

Not: “It’s all just one soul-sucking climb that never ends.”
Rather: “The future me may have different goals, let me chew off what I think I can do today, this week, this month, and this quarter. I know people will recognize and respect that I’m trying to build towards a larger goal even if I’m not 100% sure where or what it is.”

(Organic insecticidal soap really helps keep the bugs off.)

Thank you for viewing my morning glories.

WGET

WGET, an indispensable tool for working with the web. Below are a few examples extracted from my CLI cheat-sheet, with explanation on syntax.

WGET & CURL: equivalent examples

wget -O index.html www.exampledomain.com

# The -O (upper case) is optional, and if omitted it usually saves as the index.html for the website.
curl -L www.exampledomain.com > index.html

# The -L follows all redirects before returning data.
# Curl normally spits out to the CLI, but the '>' redirects the named file.  Beware '>' overwrites, sometimes useful is '>>' to append.

Debugging

Sometimes it’s really useful to be able to grab a website in its entirety.

wget -pHk www.exampledomain.com

-p  fetches all accompanying assets (images, css, js) to view the site
-H  enables recursive run, to fetch assets from other hosts
-k  after downloading, this will change all asset links to local/relative

Extra

du -sh $pwd

After a wget -pHk (in an empty directory), use du -sh $pwd to see the size of your website. I’ve found this to be a good statistic to keep track of for UX/mobile purposes. Though there’s a lot to consider whether it’s CSS, JS, or other and a large website doesn’t necessarily mean it’s slow.

Hello World!

After reading and benefiting from so many peoples’ cool blogs, I decided I wanted to have fun too.

I’m a Software Consultant, love talking about technology, and have wide interests outside of work (because I’m human).

To start my blog, I first started building a tech stack to host my blog. I was armpit deep in standing up a jekyll app, connected to a github repo, using an EC2 instance to build, then deploy to S3 where I could then CloudFront, then buy a cert in ACM to front and then use Rt 53… blah.

I just want to blog, man. I know I have hated on WordPress before. Credit card swiped and I have a personal account for a year, and my own domain!

Hello World!

From London to Applebees

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

This post requires a little bit of context. At the end of 2019 my wife and I were preparing to move back to the USA after more than two years living and working in central London. It was a very fun and educational time with lots of travel, but there were cultural things I missed back in the USA. I wrote the following missive and shared with a thousand strong social media group of American ex-pats. If you have ever lived or worked in Europe I would hope you could recognize the humorous contrast, or otherwise enjoy how much fun a trip to Applebees actually is…

I’m an American who has been living abroad in London for the past 10 months.  There are some things I really miss.  But this is why I love to travel: because while you’re learning about your destination, you’re also learning about where you came from.

I’m looking forward to being home.  I still am enjoying my time abroad, but there are things I will certainly cherish when I get home.

I want to share a story of how I want my first Friday to go when I get back Stateside.  I want to do something so ordinary, and just enjoy it because the following simply isn’t possible in Europe.

I want to go to Applebees.

I’ll drive my car into the dedicated parking lot, and find a spot that is astronomically wide.

As I walk through the front door, I am enveloped by the aroma of hamburger.  I will be greeted by a high-school aged host/ess with a huge amount of cheerfulness and acne.  Directly behind said hostess will be an employee in training awkwardly trying not to be awkward.

My friends and I shall be seated in a booth with seat backs that are six feet tall, and I will sit down and sink a full five inches into the cushioning.

The menus will already be at the table, filed neatly behind the salt and pepper shakers.  But before I can reach for the menu, a bus-person brings a 40 oz plastic cup of iced water, and leaves me with a giant straw, and then drops four spare straws on the table just-in-case.

The menus are opened, and they contain more pictures than words.  I don’t need to try to visualize what is offered by the menu, the pictures do that for me.  Every word on the menu is in English.

The waiter/waitress arrives and as I order my burger, I am delightfully informed that I can substitute sweet potato fries, and I will accept the offer.  Guacamole will only be $1 extra, and I will take that as well.

The waiter rushes away with our order.  Suddenly five other wait staff members emerge from the kitchen, all clapping in unison.  Hooting and hollering they proceed to the table next to my booth, and surround one of the guests.  A baritone and multi-tune rendition of “The Happy Birthday Song” is sung.  Not “Happy Birthday” because that’s still under copyright and Applebees’ lawyers have wisely sidestepped that liability.  And as an American, I greatly appreciate that legal distinction and make comments about it to the rest of the people at my table.

Beer arrives within 67 seconds, served in a super-chilled mug that causes some of the water content to freeze on the surface.  Someone at the table will assuredly remark that the freezing temperature of alcohol is “actually wicked lower than when water freezes.”  (This Applebees is located in Massachusetts.)

My burger arrives, and I know it’s mine and with the correct temperature because stuck in the top of the bun is a color coded toothpick.  Only now is the full design of the booth appreciated.  After initially sliding and sinking into said booth, the level of the table is perfect so that one can place forearms against the edge of the table, hold a burger, gently lean in, and form a perfect triangle with torso, arms & table so that the burger hovers over the plate and catches all over-spilling condiments and toppings.

The waiter will perform two perfectly timed flybys of the table to ask how things are going.  (Both times, my mouth will be full and mid-chew, but a quick glance and a sigh will convey the message.)  The ketchup bottle is empty but a new one appears within 9.4 seconds.  Usain Bolt ran 100 meters in a lethargic 9.58 seconds.

Plates are cleared as soon as we finish, and my forearms can now stretch out across the table as I lean back.  I sink even further into the booth’s cushioning, achieving post-meal Stage 2 depth.

“Would you like some dessert?”  It’s the most delightful upsell attempt, but the answer is always ‘no’ and the next step in the protocol will be “I’ll get your check right away.”  Note, to get the check I did not have to do any of the following (as one might do in Europe): sit idly for 2 hours, chase down the waiter at the other end of the restaurant, or stay past the closing time of the restaurant.

Credit cards are swiped, and I’m back on my feet no more than 36 minutes after I first sank into the booth for the meal.  The question: where besides the USA can you do a sit-down meal in half an hour?  The correct answer is not France.

The food portions were just a little bit more than I needed, and as a result it’s a relaxed and careful walking pace as we make our way out the front door.  An utmost attempt is made to avoid eye-contact with the dozen people waiting for a table, who are murderously envious of our condition.

Outside, it’s sunny, and hot.  Probably really hot and humid.  The car is two first-downs away from the restaurant front door, while walking it’s just enough time to situate your sunglasses on the bridge of your nose and run your hand through your hair.  We slide into the car, which is an oven, but one minute later we’re bathed in Air Conditioning powered by a large V6 engine.

I pop the car into ‘D’ for Drive, glide out of the parking lot, and make a right onto Main Street and half a mile later merge onto the highway.  Then it’s 70 mph all the way home.

I love America.