4 Companies That Are Bleeding Cash

NEW YORK ( Stockpickr) -- When it comes to corporate America, it's "survival of the fittest." Sure enough, a handful of companies get culled from the herd every year, finding their way into bankruptcy court after a brutal run of losses. For investors looking for stocks to short, it always pays to focus on these stocks. If their balance sheets keep getting weaker and weaker in the face of open-ended losses, investors tire of pouring fresh funds into them and eventually the well runs dry.

Here's a closer look at four companies that are expected to lose gobs of money in 2012. Though they may not be in deep distress in the next quarter or two, the long-term outlook will weaken further as cash balances drop.

>>5 Big Stocks to Trade for January Gains Achillion Pharmaceuticals

It's easy to take aim at biotech stocks as they are so vulnerable when it comes to cash. Take Achillion Pharmaceuticals ( ACHN) as an example. The company's ACH-1625 protease inhibitor drug holds great promise for the treatment of infectious diseases. The drug has a long way to go until it hits the market -- perhaps in 2014 or perhaps never if FDA approval is not granted.

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Meanwhile, the company likely finished the year with $70 million in cash and is burning around $15 million per quarter. That means the cash will run out in the summer of 2013, unless the company can find more access to cash. This an obvious risk with many biotechs, but you'd be surprised how many companies wait too long to replenish their balance sheets and see their stocks plunge to distressed levels.

Achillion is E+ sell by TheStreet Ratings.

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