Toyota Motor Corp.
Toyota has long boasted that its cars are reliable, durable and retain their resale value. I guess it forgot to add "and they stop when you want them to." A problem with sticky accelerator pedals caused the auto maker to halt sales and production of its most popular models - putting a big dent in its stock, and a major fender-bender in its reputation.
"Hi, is this CTS boss Vinod Khilnani? Toyota president Akio Toyoda calling. You know those gas pedals you sold us? They don't work so well. Yeah, we've stopped selling cars because of them. Sorry, can't hear you, a lot of noise at your end - oh, that's the sound of your shareholders stampeding for the doors? Good luck trying to slow them down."
Celestica is like the Toronto Maple Leafs of stocks - you slide far enough, eventually there's nowhere to go but up, right? The perennial cellar-dweller started finding the back of the net last year, and put a few more biscuits in investors' basket this week - even if it was on the backhand. Fourth-quarter earnings were below Street estimates, but the company's first-quarter guidance topped analysts' forecasts.
United States Steel
Slumping construction. Crumbling auto industry. Anemic demand for consumer products. What do all these things have in common? They're taking place in the United States. And they involve the use (or, not) of steel. So, probably a bad time to be calling yourself "United States Steel." We knew things were bad, but U.S. Steel's $267-million (U.S.) fourth-quarter loss was even worse than we thought.
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