In late September, mall retailer Forever 21 became the latest major U.S. company to succumb to bankruptcy. Despite a booming economy, the retail sector has been under intense pressure from Amazon.com (ticker: AMZN) and other online retailers and has lost 197,000 total jobs since January 2017. Forever 21 joins several other massive retailer bankruptcies in the past two years, including Sears, Toys R Us, Payless Shoes and Claire's. Unfortunately, Forever 21 will likely not be the last big U.S. company to go the bankruptcy route. Here are six stocks that could also end up in bankruptcy.
Frontier Communications Corp. (FTR)
Wireline telecom company Frontier has seemingly been on the brink of bankruptcy all year, but it eased concerns about an imminent filing by making a $320 million debt payment in September. CFRA analyst Keith Snyder says declining subscriber numbers and looming debt payments are a bad combination for Frontier, and he's skeptical of the company's ability to financially navigate the next couple of years. To make matters worse, Frontier shares are now trading near $1, putting the stock at risk of delisting. CFRA has a "strong sell" rating and a price target of 50 cents for FTR stock.
J.C. Penney Co. (JCP)
After Sears declared bankruptcy in late 2018, J.C. Penney may be next in line. The company has not yet found a way to adapt to the new retail landscape. Last quarter, J.C. Penney reported another 7.4% revenue decline and a $48 million net income loss. Bank of America analyst Lorraine Hutchinson says even after the company's efforts to close down its worst-performing stores, the 9% drop in same-store sales last quarter was much worse than she anticipated. Bank of America has an "underperform" rating and price target of 75 cents for JCP stock.
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT)
Tanger is also getting hit hard by the downturn in brick-and-mortar retail businesses. The company reported a 3.7% decline in revenue last quarter and a 40.2% drop in net income. CFRA analyst Chris Kuiper says Tanger is being forced to choose between lowering its rent and leaving properties vacant, neither of which is good for business. Kuiper says Tanger is particularly exposed to apparel retail, which is most vulnerable to e-commerce disruption. CFRA has a "strong sell" rating and $13 price target for SKT stock.
Rite Aid Corp. (RAD)
Shares of drug Store Rite Aid are down 95% in the past three years. Revenue was down another 1% last quarter, and the company reported a $79.2 million net income loss. Perhaps most troubling is the company's $3.3 billion in debt at the end of 2018, a huge burden for a company with only a $408 million market cap. CFRA analyst Arun Sundaram says Rite Aid has a steep hill to climb to get back on a path to sustainable profit growth. CFRA has a "hold" rating and $7 price target for RAD stock.
Chico's is a retailer that owns women's lifestyle brands Chico's, White House Black Market and Soma. Last quarter, Chico's reported a 6.6% drop in revenue and a net income loss of $2.3 million. Hutchinson says Chico's will have difficulty turning a profit unless it finds a way to grow revenue. Chico's will take at least a $5 million fourth-quarter hit from tariffs, and Hutchinson says category pressures and changing styles in women's apparel and intimates create difficult long-term hurdles. Bank of America has an "underperform" rating and $1.70 price target for CHS stock.
Blue Apron (APRN)
Meal kit company Blue Apron has the distinction of being one of the most disastrous initial public offerings in recent history. After cutting its IPO range by about 40% in mid-2017, Blue Apron shares have tanked more than 90% since its IPO as sales tumbled and profits remain elusive. Last quarter, Blue Apron reported a 33.6% revenue decline and a net income loss of $7.7 million. In July, Morgan Stanley cut its price target by 70% to just $6. To avoid bankruptcy, Blue Apron must find a way to stop the bleeding.