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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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Results for jcp
PolgarStocks
19 Sep 14 01:50:06
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chartguy89
18 Sep 14 23:08:25
JCP 10.77 Stock Charts $JCP J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE) Last Updated: 09/19/2014 01:08:34 JCP Stock Chart - 1 http://t.co/kCOaxVN14B
Investors Hangout
18 Sep 14 22:15:03
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PolgarStocks
18 Sep 14 22:08:31
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Stock Rocket
18 Sep 14 21:45:24
$NETE Gained 551.93% In The Past 6 Weeks! Major News: http://t.co/h5N34SPJ6o $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
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18 Sep 14 19:23:33
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Marcelo
18 Sep 14 18:53:18
$JCP broke resistence in 10.10 with low volume. More volume is necessary http://t.co/mCBG3p9APf
Stock Forums
18 Sep 14 18:44:12
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Stock Blender
18 Sep 14 18:24:30
RT @Vconomics: $JCP is trading in a (usually) bullish ascending triangle (I personally think it breaks lower and tests ~$10.45). http://t.c…
Antony Filippo
18 Sep 14 17:58:41
$JCP is trading in a (usually) bullish ascending triangle (I personally think it breaks lower and tests ~$10.45). http://t.co/zOlrpUGdVb
Colin Macleod
18 Sep 14 17:47:55
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18 Sep 14 17:06:39
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Jack
18 Sep 14 17:04:10
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eFelispeMalvin
18 Sep 14 17:01:48
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18 Sep 14 16:57:14
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chartguy89
18 Sep 14 16:53:36
JCP 10.77 Stock Charts $JCP J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE) Last Updated: 09/18/2014 18:53:44 JCP Stock Chart - 1 http://t.co/c3AThZuOVO
Stock_Tracker
18 Sep 14 16:53:16
J.C. Penney Company Inc (JCP) 10.77 $JCP Williams-Sonoma Opens West Elm Store in Birmingham - Analyst Blog Zac http://t.co/cbHYp5OetC
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HodgeZirkle6241
18 Sep 14 16:34:40
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18 Sep 14 16:32:28
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Jason S.
18 Sep 14 16:19:52
@jimcramer $RAD absolutely ruined what was mostly an "up" day for me on everything else except $JCP. They've been crapping the bed lately.
Mike R
18 Sep 14 15:01:16
@jimcramer - can you give your opinion about $JCP? At current prices and the holiday season coming up, is this still a good play?
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18 Sep 14 12:41:16
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18 Sep 14 12:30:44
$JCP Really not a big deal here with a few cents down, but it was a total waste of a good 100+ pt. market gain. Credit Suisse, Coming 4 U!!
EuclideanSpace
18 Sep 14 12:10:11
RT @Chapter11Cases: JC Penney: ‘We Remain Very Cautious,’ Credit Suisse Says $JCP http://t.co/fyDU0vTOyu via @barronsonline
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18 Sep 14 12:07:20
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18 Sep 14 12:07:19
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Randall G. Reese
18 Sep 14 11:58:53
JC Penney: ‘We Remain Very Cautious,’ Credit Suisse Says $JCP http://t.co/fyDU0vTOyu via @barronsonline
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18 Sep 14 11:39:21
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Minh
18 Sep 14 11:04:55
RT @MehmetFDicle: My positions: Bear on $TUR $TSLA $SCTY via shares and puts (Dec/Feb). Bear on $SPY $QQQ via shares. Bull calf $JCP $FCEL …
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18 Sep 14 10:49:38
Why J.C. Penney $JCP Stock Is Declining Today http://t.co/Q1MvsqruCT
Mehmet F. Dicle
18 Sep 14 10:41:14
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El Matador Trader
18 Sep 14 10:32:03
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BlockTradeAlert
18 Sep 14 10:14:05
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jgobble
18 Sep 14 09:37:29
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18 Sep 14 09:34:24
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18 Sep 14 09:23:35
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18 Sep 14 09:23:32
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18 Sep 14 09:22:27
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danrocks
18 Sep 14 09:21:38
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18 Sep 14 09:18:45
DennyT: JCP Press Releases $JCP $NUS $DDD $AEM $NEM Buy http://t.co/dHx9dtbnHC
DennyT
18 Sep 14 09:15:28
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  +Follow December 10, 2013 8:44AM
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