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What Companies Could Go Under in 2014?

  +Follow December 10, 2013 8:44AM
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While millions of businesses fail every year in America, the failure of a large publically traded company is a much, much rarer event, with only a few every instance every year. It takes a lot to topple a giant, but that’s not to say it never happens. In the last decade alone, we’ve seen former multi-billion dollar behemoths Enron, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Kodak, and Blockbuster all go the way of the dodo.

2013 was a bull year, but that does not mean everyone had it good. There are a few companies that absolutely tanked out, and by Dec 2014 could completely cease to be.   

The following companies are major contenders to crap out next year:

Walter Energy (WLT)

Market Cap: $1.01 billion

2013 Performance YTD: -54.27 percent

Debt to Equity Ratio: 3.36

Walter Energy is frankly in an industry with an incredibly murky future. All major coal companies are in varying degrees of trouble, with giants like Peabody (BTU) and Arch Coal (ACI) also experiencing significant losses this year. However, Walter looks to be especially vulnerable, as they carry a debt-to-equity ratio of an incredibly high 3.36, rapidly declining earnings per share, and a P/E ratio of 268.

BlackBerry née Research in Motion (BBRY)

Market Cap: $3.01 billion

2013 Performance YTD: -51.27 percent

Debt to Equity Ratio: 0

Large companies that go bankrupt are quite often ones that were formerly the leader in their field (See: Pan Am, Kodak.) BlackBerry is well-primed to prove that sentiment true, as the original smartphone was once the unquestioned leader in the field. Now, of course, BlackBerry is in a tailspin, and short a white knight swooping in and saving them, they will be out of cash by the fall of 2014, and completely kaput before the end of the year.

J.C. Penney Company (JCP)

Market Cap: $2.12 billion

2013 Performance YTD: -57.23 percent

Debt to Equity Ratio: 2.12

The biggest loser in the S&P 500 in 2013 has had a widely documented fall from grace, starting with the disastrous tenure of Ron Johnson and subsequent failure (so far) to turn things around. Brick-and-mortar retailers are in for a tough ride from here on out, and unless they are able to adapt to the shift to online shopping (as Best Buy (BBY) has done so well) they are potentially looking at the end of an era.

J.C. Penney will always be able to pay off their debt, because those giant stores happen to be sitting on a lot of valuable real estate. But you can’t get to the land underneath all those J.C. Penneys while they’re still alive.   

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


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Joetta Mccue
19 Dec 14 19:25:05
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19 Dec 14 19:14:36
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19 Dec 14 19:10:44
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19 Dec 14 19:07:52
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19 Dec 14 18:31:03
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19 Dec 14 17:01:09
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19 Dec 14 15:31:14
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19 Dec 14 15:16:47
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19 Dec 14 14:52:13
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19 Dec 14 14:08:31
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19 Dec 14 13:58:51
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19 Dec 14 13:55:52
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19 Dec 14 13:49:48
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19 Dec 14 13:44:47
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boosh1002
19 Dec 14 13:28:03
at some point the $JCP stock price gets cheaper than the real estate they own, that was $5 last year. RE worth more this year?
Stock Rocket
19 Dec 14 12:18:22
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BlockTradeAlert
19 Dec 14 12:10:39
BLOCK TRADE: $JCP 620,000 shares @ $6.61 [15:10:39]
Greg Vautrinot
19 Dec 14 11:58:45
Looks like dumping $JCP for $RAD was almost brilliant. lol I still think $JCP is going to see a good comeback but it won't payoff for awhile
SmallCaps
19 Dec 14 11:36:13
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19 Dec 14 10:48:18
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19 Dec 14 10:29:01
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Investors Hangout
19 Dec 14 10:24:24
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Investors Hangout
19 Dec 14 10:24:18
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19 Dec 14 10:10:16
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19 Dec 14 10:09:19
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TonyTrader
19 Dec 14 10:03:08
$JCP Buyers @ 6.50
James DiPlata
19 Dec 14 09:59:06
RT @danrocks4: $ETN On Watch $JCP $AMD $BABA $FXE $IYT http://t.co/Ri5jCzToHN
danrocks
19 Dec 14 09:57:43
$ETN On Watch $JCP $AMD $BABA $FXE $IYT http://t.co/Ri5jCzToHN
Investors Hangout
19 Dec 14 09:52:42
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Investors Hangout
19 Dec 14 09:52:40
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Maleah
19 Dec 14 09:44:09
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danrocks
19 Dec 14 09:38:10
$JCP On Alert $CRM $GRPN $ACHN $FXE $PBR http://t.co/4ynvXKlh7o
Clayton Gilman
19 Dec 14 09:26:29
$JCP in 6.50=support
Trader News Daily
19 Dec 14 09:21:59
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19 Dec 14 09:12:46
$JCP Starting new long here...
CBOE TV
19 Dec 14 08:27:40
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19 Dec 14 08:23:50
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19 Dec 14 08:20:38
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19 Dec 14 08:17:28
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19 Dec 14 08:08:43
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Investors Hangout
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Investors Hangout
19 Dec 14 08:06:42
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Etos Etana
19 Dec 14 07:59:40
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Etos Etana
19 Dec 14 07:57:09
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19 Dec 14 07:54:51
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Investors Hangout
19 Dec 14 07:47:08
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Investors Hangout
19 Dec 14 07:47:07
danrocks: $GLD Hit my list a few days ago $JCP $F $FXE http://t.co/PwS6lY7YNY
iHangout
19 Dec 14 07:42:36
DennyT: The Launch Pad: JCP Nasdaq $JCP $GE $AMAT $TSLA $ISIS http://t.co/ErCU6D0XU7
Clayton Gilman
19 Dec 14 07:42:31
Support levels: $RAD 6.70, $JCP 6.50, $SIRI 3.45, markets, IMO, roll over today
				
				
  +Follow December 10, 2013 8:44AM
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