end of polaroid ?

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i've just read in a french magazine call "paris photo" n16 page55, that the Polaroïd company are in difficulties, any comments ?

-- dg (sacripant@online.fr), October 10, 2001


"in difficulties" is an understatement:

Tuesday October 9 5:05 PM ET

Polaroid Share Fall on Bankruptcy Worries

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Polaroid Corp.(NYSE:PRD - news) fell more than 30 percent on Tuesday amid persistent concerns that the troubled instant photography company might soon possibly seek bankruptcy protection from its creditors, analysts said.

Shares of Polaroid, once a member of the ``Nifty 50'' cadre of fast- growing companies with great potential, tumbled to a low of 28 cents a share, off more than 30 percent from Monday's close and far from its 52-week high of $13.12.

Polaroid has said very little since August when, in a federal filing, it stated that its creditors have the right ``to sue the company to collect interest that is accrued and unpaid when due and payable.''

Polaroid spokesman Skip Colcord declined to comment on the status of the negotiations with creditors, and noted that the company will report its third-quarter operations Oct. 18.

``We don't have any announcements to make at this time,'' he said.

Talk of bankruptcy has been rife for months around Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Polaroid, which owes some $600 million to holders of its bonds and about $350 million to two groups of banks.

In July and August it missed interest payments, and is currently in talks with some of the bondholders, even as it looks to sell assets to raise cash. If those talks fail, the bondholders could force Polaroid to seek bankruptcy protection, analysts said.

While there exists a likelihood that bankruptcy of some kind may be in Polaroid's future, no new developments had arisen today, analysts said.

``They are just repeating what has been said before,'' said Ulysses Yannas, analyst at analyst at Buckman Buckman & Reid, referring to recent media reports. ``There is no news.''

Analysts predict Polaroid's third-quarter revenues could fall more than 20 percent from a year ago as the deterioration of its core business is compounded by the affects of the Sept. 11 attack on New York and Washington.

-- Michael Veit (pocoveit@yahoo.com), October 10, 2001.

Meanwhile, the current issue of _View Camera_ magazine features Polaroid materials.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), October 10, 2001.

I think they filed for bankruptcy this morning. However, its only a reorganization which gives them further time to work their way out of problems. Don't count them out yet. So far they still have bank credits - just too many debts and insufficient income. They'll still be around for a long time, but undoubtedly their product line will shrink.

-- Alec (alecj@bellsouth.net), October 10, 2001.

In the current economic climate it is almost inevitable that Polaroid will either declare bankruptcy or be bought by another imaging company. I believe we will soon see the elimination of most Polaroid products not related to digital imaging. Commercial shooters are moving to the use of digital to serve the same function as Polaroid for proofing, exposure tests, checking lighting, compositions etc. I notice more and more articles in Photo District News on this subject and I beleive there was a recent article in Camera Arts discussing how to use a digital camera in tandem with your view camera as an aid in composition and extablishing exposure. Digital may not be able to replace the unique quality of a 20x24 Polaroid print, but the company can't survive on that alone. I don't think I would be buying one of the 20x24 cameras with Polaroid back at this time, even if I could afford it.

-- James Chinn (Jim1341@DellEpro.com), October 10, 2001.

Polaroid is a huge concern whose revenues come frome different sources, one of them being the photographic one. The market of instant photography is a very special one, we paid for years huge prices just because Polaroid was ....Polaroid, the other sectors, not last the digital one, are under huge price and market pressure. I trust Polaroid to survive this one too! Good luck

-- Andrea Milano (milandro@multiweb.nl), October 10, 2001.

FWIW: CNBC' s Mark Faber this morning suggested that Polaroid would be filing for bankruptcy protection. BILL

-- william mitchell (mitchell.candy@worldnet.att.net), October 10, 2001.

All transactions of their shares were frozen on the market today. Due to "imminent" chapter 11. I've read, from a couple reports that they may file for bankruptcy as early as tomorrow.

-- Thomas Douglass (rtdtomas@swbell.net), October 10, 2001.

Unfortunately bankruptcy seems imminent for Polaroid, debt restructuring seems unlikely as there is almost one billion U.S. in debt, and their bonds are trading at less than ten cents to the dollar. So Polaroid as we know it in all likelihood won’t exist much longer. Lets hope another company is able to obtain the rights to continuing the Polaroid photography product line. Having said that, if I used Polaroid products, I’d be ordering as much as I could, as future supplies are doubtful.

-- Michael Mahoney (mmahoney@nfld.com), October 12, 2001.

That may be hard to do....most of the sheet films, 55 etc. are only made with about a 9 month lead time on the expiration date (I know this from state contracts...we like a year's lead time at a minimum)....The sheet films don't perform well after the exp. date either, and are tough to store as well since you can't freeze them...so don't go panic buying just yet.....I've got my finger's crossed that someone will see the market for at least some of their products.

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), October 12, 2001.

I seriously doubt that all instant film products will disappear from the market. Even if Polaroid itself were to cease to exist, somone would buy the rights to produce the films, as some of them obviously are still moneymakers. The number of available types of film may shrink and/or the prices may rise. But knowing how many pro shooters still go through boxes and boxes of polaroid each day they shoot, I wouldn't start to freak out about lack of future supply just yet.

-- Josh Root (rootj@att.net), October 12, 2001.

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