Investing

The 24/7 Wall St./Flame Index: Google G-Mail Trouble, Itron Earnings

Itron (NASDAQ: ITRI), the water and energy service provider, missed earnings last week and was hit with a wave of class action suits. This moved it to the top of the Flame Index of negative press.  The Interior Department said it would examine the Helix Energy spill containment process, which does not assure any positive move on the part of the government. This caused the media to take a negative position on the firm. Warren  Buffett comments about Well Fargo in his annual letter did not help the company’s press mentions.

Note: The Flame Index scans thousands of news sites 24 hours per day and ranks companies getting the most negative press right now. The Flame Index Media Analysis Algorithm crunches the data for an up-to-the-minute ranking of the hardest-hit companies.

The Flame Index started as a research tool in 2008 at the NY Innovation Design Lab (nyidlab). It was used as a general metric to evaluate companies and their risk in the media. Publicly traded Fortune 500 companies are used as a measure to calculate an overall market of negative news and the companies are ranked within that market.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Rank Company Ticker Score Change in Rank Comments
1 Itron ITRI 30.324 +10 Bad earnings. Class action suits
2 Google GOOG 30.019 +8 Records from a number of G-Mail accounts lost
3 Forest Laboratories FRX 29.562 +3 Clinical Data M&A lets down shareholders
4 Fannie Mae FNMAS 28.061 -2 Still faces shut down and equity investors ruin
5 Helix Energy Solutions Group HLX 27.337 +15 Interior Department reviews spill containment plans
6 Freddie Mac FMCKJ 27.273 -5 Same as Fannie Mae
7 Toyota Motor Corporation TM 26.523 +5 More recalls. Worries about February sales
8 Holly HOC 25.277 -1 Fourth quarter profit disappoints
9 Walt Disney DIS 24.628 -6 Comcast deal to control NBCU seen as negative.
10 Wells Fargo WFC 23.687 +24 Mortgage documentation problems. Buffett’s unkind comments.

Data and ranking provided by the Flame Index.