Updated from 10:28 a.m. ET with comments from CEO Antonio Perez in an internal memo sent to employees
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Eastman Kodak (KODK) on Friday began trading on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time since emerging from an over 18-month bankruptcy process in September that re-positioned the company away from consumer products.
Kodak's shares gained 1% to close at $26.25, valuing the Rochester, N.Y.-based commercial printing company at a market capitalization of nearly $1 billion.
"This is a notable achievement," Kodak CEO Antonio Perez wrote in a memo sent to employees, obtained by TheStreet. "This re-listing validates we are moving forward as a technology company and that the NYSE believes we have the financial stability and market interest to rejoin other leading technology companies represented there."
Perez said that the company intends to ring the opening bell of the NYSE in the near future.
"As always, thank you for your efforts in helping Kodak reach this point," Perez said in the memo. "Now let's push for a strong close to 2013, and show the outside world the renewed energy and confidence we have as a new Kodak."
The company's shares last traded on the NYSE on Jan. 19, 2012, the day the over 100-year old film and camera pioneer fell into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Since then, Kodak has dramatically altered its business model, divesting most of its film, imaging and digital operations, and re-doubling its focus on commercial printing.
Kodak said in September it is on track to earn $167 million in 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), an improvement of more than $300 million from last year. The company will also have a balance sheet with worldwide cash that exceeds debt by roughly $800 million.