Notable Bankruptcies of 2009: Q3

In January I predicted (see Notable Bankruptcies of 2009: Q1) that “major” bankruptcies in 2009 would challenge the 383 mark set in 2001 (the high-water mark after the dotcom bubble). I even suggested that it was possible that we could exceed 400 “major” bankruptcies in 2009.

According to Bankruptcydata.com, there have been 208 “major” filings thus far in 2009. Assuming that bankruptcies are equally distributed throughout the year, this puts us on pace for 277 bankruptcies. That is tracking well shy of my prediction. In fact, bankruptcies were down significantly from Q2 to Q3, and have been trending downward throughout the year.

That stylized fact begs the question: Is that a “green shoot” dip in bankruptcy filings, or might the Fed/Treasury liquidity programs be keeping weaker firms on artificial life support?

Although I cannot be sure why bankruptcies have tracked lower than forecast — whether due to a better-than-expected economy or government intervention (or some combination of the two) — I am certain that my prediction was way off. At this point then, if the bankruptcy pace quickens in the 4th quarter (as is typical), the final number will likely come in around 300. With 300 major bankruptcies, we would exceed last year’s number by 30% (see Notable Bankruptcies of 2008: Final Tally).

But looking forward, the question now becomes: What should we expect for 2010? I will wait for the final 2009 numbers to make a definitive prediction, but right now, my informed guess would be 350, …and that’s even if the economy rebounds in 2010, barring a double-dip recession scenario.

Anyhow, below you can find an updated list of what I see as the “noteworthy” bankruptcies of 2009, as reported by Bankrupctydata.com. New additions since January appear in RED (please note that this is not an exhaustive list):

  • 1st Centennial Bancorp (Banking)
  • AbitibiBowater Inc. (Paper)
  • Adamar Inc. dba Tropicana Casino & Resort (Gambling)
  • American Community Newspapers Inc. & LLC (Newspapers)
  • ARG Enterprises, Inc. (Restaurants)
  • Aurora Oil & Gas Corporation (Energy)
  • Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings, Inc. (Energy)
  • BankUnited Financial Corporation (Banking)
  • Barzel Industries, Inc. (Manufacturing)
  • Baseline Oil & Gas Corp. (Energy)
  • Bearingpoint, Inc. (Consulting)
  • BI-LO, LLC (Supermarkets)
  • Bruno’s Supermarkets, LLC (Supermarkets)
  • Butler International, Inc. (IT Services)
  • Cape Fear Bank Corporation (Banking)
  • Capital Corp of the West (Banking)
  • CCS Medical, Inc. (Medical)
  • Charter Communications, Inc. (Telecom)
  • Chemtura Corporation (Chemicals)
  • Chrysler LLC (Automobiles)
  • CIB Marine Bancshares, Inc. (Banking)
  • Colonial BancGroup, Inc. (Banking)
  • Cooperative Bankshares, Inc. (Banking)
  • Cooper-Standard Holdings (Automobile)
  • Crescent Resources, LLC (Real Estate)
  • Cynergy Data, LLC (Banking)
  • Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc. (Retail)
  • Ennis Homes, Inc. (Real Estate)
  • Extended Stay Inc. (Hotels)
  • Filene’s Basement, Inc. (Retail)
  • Finlay Enterprises, Inc. (Jewerly)
  • Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc. (Recreational Vehicles)
  • Fortunoff Holdings, LLC (Retail)
  • Fountainbleu Las Vegas, LLC, (Hotels)
  • Freedom Communications Holdings, Inc. (Media)
  • Fulton Homes Corporation (Real Estate)
  • General Growth Properties, Inc. (Real Estate)
  • General Motors Corporation (Automobiles)
  • G.I. Joe’s, Inc. (Retail)
  • Goody’s LLC (Retail)
  • Gottschalks Inc. (Retail)
  • Guaranty Financial Group Inc. (Banking)
  • Herbst Gaming, Inc. (Gambling)
  • Holley Performance Products, Inc. (Automotive)
  • ION Media Networks, Inc. (Television)
  • Idearc (Publishing)
  • Irwin Financial Corporation (Banking)
  • JL French Automotive Castings, Inc. (Automotive)
  • Journal Register Companies (Newspapers)
  • Lear Corporation (Automobile)
  • Lyondell Chemical Company (Chemicals)
  • MagnaChip Semiconductor LLC (Semiconductors)
  • Magna Entertainment (Gambling)
  • Masonite Corporation (Real Estate Manufacturing)
  • Metromedia International Group, Inc. (Media)
  • Midway Games, Inc. (Entertainment Software)
  • Monaco Coach Corporation (Recreational Vehicles)
  • Muzak Holdings LLC (Entertainment)
  • Nortel Networks, Inc. (Telecom)
  • Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Pharma)
  • Pacific Energy (Oil & Gas)
  • Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC (Newspapers)
  • Proliance International, Inc. (Manufacturing)
  • RathGibson, Inc. (Manufacturing)
  • Reader’s Digest, Inc. (Media)
  • Recycled Paper Greetings, Inc. (Greeting Cards)
  • R.H. Donnelley Corporation (Marketing)
  • Ritz Camera Centers, Inc. (Retail)
  • Samsonite Company Stores, LLC (Retail)
  • Security Bank Corporation (Banking)
  • Shane Company (Jewelry)
  • Silicon Graphics, Inc. (IT/Computing)
  • Silver State Bancorp (Banking)
  • Six Flags, Inc. (Entertainment)
  • Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Paper Manufacturing)
  • Source Interlink Companies, Inc. (Marketing)
  • Southern Community Bancshares, Inc. (Banking)
  • Spectrum Brands (Consumer Products)
  • Star Tribune Companies (Newspapers)
  • Station Casinos, Inc. (Gambling)
  • Sun-Times Media Group, Inc. (Newspapers)
  • Tarragon Corporation (Real Estate)
  • Team Financial, Inc. (Banking)
  • Thornburg Mortgage, Inc. (Banking)
  • Trump Entertainment (Gambling)
  • U.S. Shipping Partners L.P. (Marine Transportation)
  • Velocity Express Corporation (Delivery)
  • Vineyard National Bancorp (Banking)
  • Visteon Corporation (Auto Supplies)
  • Wall Homes, Inc. (Real Estate)
  • WL Homes, LLC (Real Estate)
  • Young Broadcasting, Inc. (Television)
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