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11 Worst-Run Companies of 2011

Class of 2010

Yahoo! (YHOO): Yahoo!, which is still on my list, has made for very interesting tabloid-like discussion in financial circles this past year. First, the company botches its ownership in Chinese Internet giant Alibaba. Earnings and revenue have pretty much been disappointing and are headed in the wrong direction. Former CEO Carol Bartz was a broken rudder in her leadership of the company and finally got whacked by the board in September. Now it appears that there are several groups that are interested in acquiring Yahoo!, at a much lower price than Microsoft (MSFT) was willing to purchase the company at in 2008. Only because of those rumors has the stock managed to eke out a 1% gain in the last year. I remain skeptical that this company can succeed on its own.

Boeing (BA - Get Report): Boeing's 787 finally made its first commercial flight. Still, the company's stock has declined by 4% in the past year. When you hear about the cost overruns and blunders in conjunction with the 787 project, you have to question management's capabilities. Also, given the budgetary concerns in Washington, the prospects for continued funding from Congress at current levels is in jeopardy. Boeing remains on my list for now.

Class of 2011

I herby confer upon the following companies the distinction of being the newest inductees to my list of the 11 Worst-Run Companies of 2011.

MF Global Holdings (MF): What do you do if you left an entire state in financial shambles after being voted out of office -- even if you yourself are filthy rich? You take over a financial institution and create another financial mess. That is what happened when former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine took over MF Global Holdings. What was he thinking when it came to sovereign euro debt? The whole world was short, so he went contrarian. Did he learn anything from the 2008 financial crisis? Evidently not, because he was too busy destroying New Jersey's finances at the time. This is a man who evidently wanted to be secretary of the Treasury. MF Global stock is off 85% this year.

Sure enough, after 2011's list was finalized, it was announced just this morning that MF Global has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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