Top 10 Companies that were biggest losers
This list of biggest losers was recently published by Fortune Magazine. BP could not be taken into consideration as oil spill took place in 2010, after the list was compiled, or else it would have been on second spot or may be top.
1. Fannie Mae
Fortune 500 rank: 81
2009 loss: $72.0 billion
The mortgage giant was one of the first big financial institutions to receive government aid during the financial crisis, and it may well be the last to dig itself out. As the middleman between mortgage lenders and investors, Fannie got pummelled by defaults and has now received massive amounts of monetary backing as the government tries to strengthen the housing market.
2. Freddie Mac
Fortune 500 rank: 54
2009 loss: $21.6 billion
You know it’s bad when good news means turning a profit in just one quarter of the year. But that’s what it means to be Freddie Mac these days. Almost 4% of the housing lender’s borrowers were in foreclosure or at least 90 days late on payments, and by the end of the 2009, Freddie and Fannie had together received more than $110 billion from Uncle Sam.
3. American International Group
Fortune 500 rank: 16
2009 loss: $10.9 billion
AIG had a pretty low bar to cross in 2009 after setting a Fortune 500 record loss of $99.3 billion the year before.
Even though the insurance giant managed to turn a profit in the second and third quarters, it had a brutal last three months of the year thanks to a charge from restructuring its government bailout and money it put aside to pay off claims.
Fortune 500 rank: 122
2009 loss: $10.3 billion
When GMAC CEO Michael Carpenter said that "2009 was a transformational year for the company," he was putting it mildly. After a third bailout at the end of December to the tune of $3.8 billion, the government became GMAC’s majority owner.
GMAC, which finances GM and Chrysler dealers as well as car buyers, has been suffering from a one-two punch: the twin collapse of the auto industry and housing market. Its lending arm also focuses on home loans, and it was hard to find a worse business to be in during the height of the downturn.
Fortune 500 rank: 353
2009 loss: $6.7 billion
Symantec may have posted record revenue of $6.1 billion in 2009, but the real story behind the numbers came down to a $7.4 billion charge on goodwill, brought on by a floundering economy and its decline in its market cap.
Customers continued to buy anti-virus protection during the downturn, which allowed sales to grow across all segments, but they were slow to make purchases, and the company lost market share as it battled competitive pricing.
6. Chesapeake Energy
Fortune 500 rank: 296
2009 loss: $5.8 billion
Recession-hit consumers got a much-needed break on their heating bills this year when natural gas prices reached a low not seen in years. But for Chesapeake, the price drop cut deeply into results as revenue slid by a third and the company plummeted into the red, partly due to a $6.9 billion charge on the value of its gas and oil properties.
7. CC Media Holdings
Fortune 500 rank: 376
2009 loss: $4.0 billion
When it comes to media companies, it’s the same story all around. Advertising declines have hit the newspaper and magazine industries first and hardest, but billboard and radio segments got whacked too. As a result, CC Media, parent company of Clear Channel Communications, suffered a $1.1 billion decline in 2009 revenue — an almost 18% drop over 2008.
8. News Corp.
Fortune 500 rank: 76
2009 loss: $3.4 billion
"Quality journalism is not cheap," CEO Rupert Murdoch said during an earnings call, and he’s got News Corp’s 2009 results to prove it. The parent company of The Wall Street Journal lowered its forecasts twice during the year and ended up taking an almost $9 billion write-down prompted by the decline in the growth of ad revenue and its stock price.
9. Rite Aid
Fortune 500 rank: 89
2009 loss: $2.9 billion
The nation’s third-largest drugstore chain is still hurting from its 2007 Brooks/Eckerd acquisition, which bogged Rite Aid down with debt. The acquisition was meant to help it compete against bigger rivals CVS Caremark and Walgreens, but plans were waylaid by a poor economy as shoppers delayed filling prescriptions, or skipped them altogether. The company has trimmed store hours and replaced salaried employees with hourly workers to cut costs.
Fortune 500 rank: 47
2009 loss: $2.9 billion
Conventional wisdom says that downturns are good for supermarkets, as cash-strapped consumers cut back on eating out and instead do their own shopping and cooking.
But Supervalu — the supermarket operator behind Shaw’s, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, and Save-A-Lot — was slow to learn that shoppers were looking for serious discounts. Its failure to jump on the bargain bandwagon led to a slight decline in same-store sales, as customers went elsewhere for better deals.
Supervalu’s biggest hit came from a $3.5 billion charge related to its acquisition of Albertsons and store closures.