Two Ways to Make a Buck Off Bankruptcy
If you think filing bankruptcy is tough, try making a living at it these days.
As the economy has finally shown signs of life in the past six months, public companies that service the bankruptcy industry have mostly gone Chapter 0, as in the price toward which their stocks are headed.
Epiq Systems (EPIQ), a provider of software and support for bankruptcy attorneys and trustees, has seen its shares plunge to $14 from mid-2003 highs around $23. FTI Consulting (FCN), which built a big part of its business around helping large corporations restructure and emerge from bankruptcy, has sunk to the $15 area from mid-2003 highs around $32.
Both stocks have stabilized in recent weeks as short-sellers have paused to catch their breath. The question now is whether renewed fears that the economy may falter in the next six months will yield a positive revaluation of these companies' prospects, sparking a rebound in their shares.
The Case for a ReboundIt's not as unlikely as you might think. The Economic Cycle Research Institute's Weekly Leading Index, which has
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