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Record losses at two of the world’s largest and most venerable airlines, British Airways and Air-France-KLM, pushed them onto Alacra Pulse’s top 10 ranking of companies under pressure this week. As if things weren’t bad enough for BA, after suffering extensive flight cancellations due to volcanic ash, the courts just cleared the way for another round of cabin crew strikes in the run-up to the World Cup soccer finals in South Africa.

Big Pharma companies often seem to be resistant to bad news, but that didn’t keep Pfizer’s (PFE) restructuring and plant closings from helping the drug giant move to the top of the list of companies under pressure. Reorganizations hit H&R Block (HRB) and Helicos Biosciences (HLCS), while disappointing earnings hurt Sears Holdings (SHLD) and SAB MiIler.

The following sampling of companies under duress was compiled from a search of traditional and alternative media outlets using Alacra Pulse.

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Alacra Pressure Points 21 May 2010
Source: Pulse Pressure Points: Airlines Grounded