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Editor's notes: Having cut costs and secured vital funding, PESI may have staved off meltdown. As Department of Energy spending picks up, the company's shares have radioactive potential.


Perma-Fix (PESI), a nuclear waste treatment and clean-up company, has been hit with the perfect storm of bad industry trends and management missteps. PESI has lost money for five quarters in a row. Its stagnant or declining revenue failed to match high expenses of running a business and its management was slow to react to the new reality of reduced government spending and aversion to nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. It made an unsuccessful acquisition of Safety & Ecology Holdings Corporation (SEHC) in 2011, which added only modestly to the top line, but saddled the company with new debt, unprofitable contracts, lawsuits, and red ink. Despite trading at a fraction of its book value, the company,...

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