Of all the companies I'm featuring here, Sprint ( S) is the only one that is also on my list of the 11 Worst-Run Companies of 2011. The company's cash flow from operations has deteriorated for years. Sprint's Z-Score of -0.63 indicates that the company is at risk for bankruptcy. I won't want to waste any more time or space by beating this dead horse other than to add that it is definitely one to avoid. For another take on Spring, check out 10 Top Stocks Under $5 for 2012 Picked by Analysts. DynegyDynegy ( DYN) is in the business of producing and selling electric energy and services in the U.S. The electric utility business is very competitive and is also highly regulated. Dynegy has a poor earnings track record and its revenues have been in steady decline for years. The company has embarked on a long-term plan to sell assets in order to remain competitive. However, one of the most important metrics that utility investors look for is dividends. Dynegy last paid a cash dividend in 2002. In order to prop up the stock price, a 1-for-5 reverse stock split was issued last year. Why buy Dynegy when you can purchase a more consist company such as Con Edison ( ED), which not only earns money but has raised its dividend every year since 1974?
As insurgencies proliferate, investors and targets are fishing in the same small pool of candidates. Experienced executives are the ideal recruits -- and companies may have an advantage over activists.