From The Business Insider, Sept. 18, 2009:
Despite a few green shoots in the economy and a rocketing stock market, many large companies are still struggling to avoid bankruptcy.
A new report by Audit Integrity identifies some high-profile names "that have the highest probability of declaring bankruptcy among publicly traded firms."
Which companies appear the worst off? We took the list and removed any company with a market cap under $3 billion. We then ranked the remaining names by a simple measure of the market's perceived bankruptcy risk - Market Cap (MC) divided by Enterprise Value (EV). The less MC vs. EV, the less residual shareholders' value (above what debt holders can claim) the market is pricing-in for the company. Thus a lower MC/EV means the market thinks the company is more likely to go bankrupt.
When you have tons of debt financing your fleet of cars, falling rental demand really hurts.
While the company raised new capital in May for some breathing room, Fitch and Moody’s actually cut their ratings for the company in July.
Ignoring the downgrade, shares kept rallying and are now at over five times the March $2 low. Best of luck.
Market Cap (MC)/Enterprise Value (EV) = 32%
What a tough time to be selling business jets.
Textron wrote down $2.3 billion its backlog this year after it canceled a new jet design, and demand for its other aircraft-related offerings has plummeted.
Shareholders may be heartened by the company’s ability to push back some debt maturities lately, but deteriorating credit quality at the company’s leasing arm makes the outlook uncertain at best.
3. Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel is bleeding customers, and could lose as many as 4.4 million net post-paid subscribers this year.
This is a huge problem when you have large amounts of maturing debt over the next few years.
A recent Deutsche Telekom acquisition rumor offered some hope, but that appears to have faded. Facing a difficult road ahead on its own, the company better keep its lawyers on speed-dial.
Does anyone even shop at department stores anymore?
Same store sales will likely keep falling at Macy’s right through 2009. With $2.4 billion of maturing debt over the next five years, the company is trying to cut costs, and has already reduced its dividend.
Hopefully the US consumer will bounce back soon, and actually want to shop at Macy's.
In a classic case of management empire building, Mylan overpaid big time when it bought Merck’s generic business back in 2007 and is now stuck with $5 billion of long-term debt as a result.
From 2007 – 2008, the company lost over $1.3 billion very much due to goodwill write-downs.
While the company could earn $300 million this year, they’ll have to earn far more than that in the future to make their debt manageable.
Demand for Goodyear tires has sunk, and the company is saddled with massive debt and pension obligations.
It doesn’t help that The United Steelworkers union prevents the company from proper cost control by forcing factories to stay open.
Shareholders have to wonder how much value will be left of the company after bondholders and the union members have their way.
Weak advertising and falling license fees have sent CBS's earnings off a cliff in 2009.
If they remain depressed for too long, the company could have trouble refinancing $3.2 billion of debt coming due over the next five years.
It will really come down to whether or not CBS’s earnings collapse is merely cyclical, or the result of structural trend whereby traditional TV is dying.
As a business blog, we can't help but feel partly guilty here.
8. Advanced Micro Devices
When will AMD actually make money again? The question is becoming more important by the day since it carries over $5 billion in long-term debt.
After losing almost $3 billion from 2007 – 2008, analysts expect the company to lose more money in 2009 and 2010.
While the shares rallied from their February $2 low, they still appear stuck in a long-term down trend from $40 highs way back in 2006.
9. Las Vegas Sands
Las Vegas Sands over-expanded and over-levered in the last few years and now has over $10 billion in debt to deal with.
Despite jumping 13 times from their March low, Las Vegas Sands shares still face an uphill battle.
Conditions in Las Vegas are horrible, Asian expansion isn’t enough, and if this lasts too long then LVS will end up in bankruptcy court looking like it bit off more than it can chew.
10. Interpublic Group
As one of the largest advertising and marketing companies in the world, IPG was slammed by the global recession.
As the company’s CEO said during recent second quarter results, the downturn “is proving steeper and more lasting than expected”.
Revenues have fallen double digits and the company’s exposure to General Motors as its largest client hasn’t helped.