When I was at Financial World Magazine, we would do a list of the ten worst managed companies in America. The cycle was about once a year. To make the list, a company had to do a lot wrong compared to the rest of the stock market and its peer group. The financial results would have to be very poor, and companies in industries that were down across the board were usually not included. For this tech list, a number of financial sources were consulted along with research from Wall Street and sources like ValueLine, Morningstar, Investor's Business Daily and Yahoo!Finance.
Savvis (NASDAQ:SVVS) was the IPO spin-off of the Night of the Living Dead, pseudo- Bloomberg-killer, the roll-up known as Bridge Information Systems that was masterminded by venture capital firm Welsh Carson. The Savvis offering had barely made it out the door when Bridge collapsed into Chapter 11 and its pieces were sold off for pennies on the dollar.
Savvis's luck has only been slightly better: In 2000, the stock traded for almost $25. After going relentlessly downhill to penny-land, the stock recovered to $4 in early 2004, and then rolled over and nose-dived again. It has recently rebounded slightly to $1.45 and now sports a market capitalization that is about 50% of sales.
Savvis has managed to have negative net income in 2003, 2004, and 2005. On top of that the company's founding CEO resigned after running up a large tab for a stripper in New York City. A very large tab of $241,000.
Savvis is in a promising end of the technology business and is often mentioned as a competitor to content deliver network company Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM). The difference is that Akamai has gotten its act together and its stock has gone from about $12 to $31 over the last year. Akamai has a market cap of $4.8 billion compared to Savvis's $263 million.
Someone forgot to get in line to buy a ticket before the bus left.
SVVS Stock Price Since IPO
Douglas A. McIntyre is the former Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Financial World Magazine. He was also president of Switchboard.com when it was the 10th most visited website in the world, according to MediaMetrix. He has been chief executive of FutureSource, LLC and On2 Technologies, Inc. and has served on the boards of TheStreet.com and Edgar Online. He does not own securities in companies he writes about. McIntyre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.