Top 5 Companies In Danger Of Bankruptcy

By Eric Fox | September 23, 2009 AAA

Investors who feel that the economy has moved past the danger point of the financial crisis and that good times are right around the corner might want to consider the lagged effects of the downturn, which still might claim some victims.

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Audit Integrity, an independent research firm focused on corporate accounting and governance, just released its annual list of the companies most likely to enter bankruptcy over the next year. Audit Integrity has a quantitative proprietary model that incorporates a company's liquidity, debt levels, profitability, market price and also subjective inputs like governance and fraud risk measures.

1. Rite Aid Corp (NYSE:RAD) has the highest risk of bankruptcy according to the study, at 10.5%. The company has nearly 5000 drug store locations nationwide and received a $1 billion credit line in July 2009 from a collection of lenders, including $290 million from the financing arm of General Electric (NYSE:GE).

Rite Aid reports earnings on September 24, and that report should illuminate the financial situation at the company.

2. Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq:SIRI) is second on the list with a 9% chance. The company received an investment back in March 2009 from Liberty Media Corp (Nasdaq:LCAPA) of $530 million to help it with its liquidity problems. Sirius XM radio has other problems as well. The company just received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq exchange because the price of the stock fell below $1 for more than 30 days.

3. Some of the names on the list might come as a surprise. Like American Airlines (NYSE:AMR), which is third on the list, with an 8.7% chance of bankruptcy. American Airlines just announced that it raised $2.9 billion in capital to help it through the recession, and this funding may significantly lower its bankruptcy chances.

4. Federal Mogul Corp (Nasadq:FDML) is number four on the list with a 8.6% chance. This auto parts supplier has been caught up in the troubles in the automotive industry the last year. The company did manage to eke out a slight profit in its most recent quarter.

5. Textron (NYSE:TXT) is another interesting name on the list wih a 7% chance. The company just came to market and sold $600 million in 5 and 10-year debt. Textron used some of the funds to repurchase several outstanding issues of debt with earlier maturities. The tender apparently pleased the market as credit default swaps on Textron tightened and closed at a 263 basis points spread.

The Bottom Line
The economy will arguably start growing over the next year causing a huge psychological lift for investors, and higher cash flows for many companies. However, many sustained so much damage that they may not make it out with the rest of the market, thus disproving the old stock market cliché that a rising tide lifts all boats. (To learn more, see What You Need To Know About Bankruptcy.)

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