10 Companies That Could Go Bankrupt
By Jason Notte
Dec 17, 2010
It doesn’t take an auto repair shop in an old Circuit City building or a “for lease” sign over the QuickDrop slot in an old Blockbuster storefront to remind consumers that even the strongest companies can be bowed by bankruptcy.
Blockbuster’s video empire and A&P’s nearly 150-year-old food retail business were among the businesses that declared bankruptcy this year, but were far from the only ones in financial peril. The Street took a look at some companies’ recent struggles and identified 10 for whom bankruptcy may be beckoning, either next year or the not-so-distant future. Some balance sheets and share prices hide the pain better than others, but all of the following have fundamental flaws in either their business plan or management that lead to situations like A&P and Blockbuster’s — where what was unthinkable even five years ago seems inevitable soon enough.
AOL (AOL) went out and bought itself TechCrunch and blew out its Patch network of hyperlocal news sites. Google (GOOG) watched monthly sales of smartphones with its Android OS soar past Apple (AAPL) and Research In Motion (RIMM) and acquired 25 companies this year alone. Yahoo? (YHOO) Well, CEO Carol Bartz told a TechCrunch editor to “f— off” when he questioned her progress since replacing Jerry Yang last year. And they’ve got Associated Content now. That’s something.