NEW YORK – U.S. companies are sitting on hundreds of billions of cash, so you might think they are in great financial shape.
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The reality is different, and worrisome.
Most of the cash is held by precious few companies, a mere 1 percent of 2,000 tracked by S&P Global Ratings. At the remaining 99 percent, finances have generally gotten worse in recent years. Many have increased debt dramatically while their cash has barely risen, or even fallen, among other signs of potential trouble.
Here is a look at five companies whose finances have weakened recently, according to Moody's Investors Service, a credit-rating firm that assigns grades to companies based on their likelihood of paying back what they owe. The companies are either one rating change away from receiving a "junk" grade, which would make them too risky for many investors, or have already achieved that status.
|COMPANY||DEBT||($, million)||CHANGE IN DEBT (since 2008)||CASH($, million)||CHANGE IN CASH(since 2008)|