NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Blockbuster ( BBI) should not file for bankruptcy, according to readers of TheStreet.

In a weeklong poll, 60.1% said the company should continue to fight, while 39.9% said a Chapter 11 filing is its only option.

Earlier this week, Blockbuster warned in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it might be forced to file Chapter 11 if cash flows don't improve and it is unable to restructure its debt. Blockbuster reportedly has about $1 billion in debt.

"These factors raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern," Blockbuster said in the filing.

As a result, two agencies cut their ratings on Blockbuster's stock. Fitch Ratings cut it to C from CCC and downgraded its $675 million in senior secured notes to CC/RR3 from B/RR2. Fitch also affirmed $300 million in senior subordinated notes at C/RR6, which it said reflects poor recovery prospects in a distressed case.

Similarly, Standard & Poor's also downgraded Blockbuster's corporate credit rating to a "most speculative" grade of CC from CCC. "The CC rating indicates that, in our opinion, Blockbuster is highly vulnerable to default," said S&P in a statement.

The news sent shares plunging, at one point falling to a 52-week low of 25 cents, as investors feared a bankruptcy filing would render shares practically worthless.

But the stock began rallying after-hours Thursday, when CEO James Keyes calmed investors. Keyes told the Dallas Morning Journal that, despite the SEC filing, Blockbuster's situation hasn't changed much over the past year.

Investors embraced this optimism, sending shares gaining as much as 16%. Regardless, the stock ended the week down 22% to close on Friday at 32 cents a share.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.


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