Ars deathwatch 2014: Companies on the edge of relevance

With all of the holiday cheer now behind us, it’s time to take stock of the year ahead. And while 2013 was a good year for the stock market and a somewhat better-than-recessionary year for the economy as a whole, the ravages of the past twelve months have placed a handful of technology-related companies at a crossroads—one that could lead to a miraculous recovery, an acquisition, or the sort of corporate undeath that turns them into intellectual property zombies that feed on other companies’ brains for survival.

Earlier this week, we reviewed my questionably accurate picks from last year, and I asked for your feedback on who should make this year’s watchlist. I also consulted with the great minds of the Ars staff for a sanity check and revisited financials and other data just to make sure there was some grounding in fact for the five companies that made my final list. The companies chosen meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • An extended period of lost market share in their particular category
  • An extended period of financial losses or a pattern of annual losses
  • Serious management problems that raise questions about the business model or long-term strategy of the company

None of these criteria are necessarily indicators of future corporate health; companies have been turned around to succeed despite the piling on of these sorts of issues—companies like General Motors and Chrysler, for example. Of course, none of the companies on our list are likely to receive a federal bailout, either.

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via Ars Technica http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/index/~3/x7jeZgU7Pek/

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