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The Worst-Run Companies of 2009

Class of 2009

May I have the envelope? Here are the latest companies to be added to the Worst Run Company Club for 2009.

Advance Micro Devices (AMD - Get Report): AMD is the quintessential second banana to semiconductor monolith Intel (INTC - Get Report). Whether times are good or times are bad, one thing is certain: AMD will likely post an annual earnings loss. The company is also operating under the strain of a huge amount of net debt. Finally, it seems as if the entire smartphone boom has left AMD behind in the dust, and the company still resides in a desktop business model mentality.

Sirius XM Radio (SIRI - Get Report): That this company hasn't made my list in the past is a major oversight on my part. Sirius XM -- the merger of two poorly managed and capitalized companies, Sirisu and XM -- is a classic case of a great product (satellite radio) coupled with a bad business model. The company is burdened with more than $3 billion in long-term debt and $4.5 billion of intangibles and goodwill. The strategy of giving large deals to big-name stars such as Howard Stern and Chris "Mad Dog" Russo doesn't really seem to have paid off. Management relied heavily on the automobile industry to spur sales, and we know how successful that has been. Perhaps government-sponsored cash for transistor radio program could help Sirius survive. Its date with destiny will be in bankruptcy court.

Jamba Juice (JMBA - Get Report): My readers might wonder why I have never placed a restaurant company on my list of worst-managed companies. Perhaps now the time is right. I warned the subscribers of my newsletter, The LakeView Restaurant & Food Chain Report, about Jamba back in January. Unfortunately, it has had a lousy track record since coming public in June 2005 at $8 per share. As is usual with these "fad" companies, early success was short-lived. The problem with Jamba is its lack of a full menu. Other than a few baked goods, it only serves juice and juice blends. That is not enough menu diversification to attract diners and generate growth. I would not recommend bellying up to the Jamba juice bar.

-- Written by Scott Rothbort in Millburn, N.J.
At the time of publication, Rothbort was long Apple and RIM, although positions can change at any time.

Scott Rothbort has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 2002, Rothbort founded LakeView Asset Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor based in Millburn, N.J., which offers customized individually managed separate accounts, including proprietary long/short strategies to its high net worth clientele. He also is the founder and manager of the social networking educational Web site

Immediately prior to that, Rothbort worked at Merrill Lynch for 10 years, where he was instrumental in building the global equity derivative business and managed the global equity swap business from its inception. Rothbort previously held international assignments in Tokyo, Hong Kong and London while working for Morgan Stanley and County NatWest Securities.

Rothbort holds an MBA in finance and international business from the Stern School of Business of New York University and a BS in economics and accounting from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Term Professor of Finance and the Chief Market Strategist for the Stillman School of Business of Seton Hall University.

For more information about Scott Rothbort and LakeView Asset Management, LLC, visit the company's Web site at Scott appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.
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