As each month passes, more and more companies get into the kind of trouble that pushes them toward Chapter 11 or insolvency. Some of the companies that hit that point several months ago include Sirius XM (NASDAQ: SIRI) and Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR).
In the next several months two or three large companies could be added to the list.
Advanced Micros Devices (NYSE: AMD) posted a narrow loss last quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago, but a third of its revenue disappeared. If PC and server sales get worse, its sales could shrink faster than the company can cut costs. The firm's gross margins are dropping fast and AMD has long term debt of over $4.7 billion.
Citigroup (NYSE: C) still faces the prospects that it could be nationalized if it posts more huge losses in the first quarter. Last week, its market cap dropped to $17 billion. A massive capital investment from the Treasury could wipe that equity out.
General Motors (NYSE: GM) may seem like an obvious choice, but its shares could go to zero faster than investors think. If the UAW or creditors walk away from restructuring talks, GM's attempt to cut its costs to get more government assistance based on a plan to be submitted on March 31 would be ruined.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.