Special Report

The World's 25 Least Admired Companies

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20. Rite Aid
> Industry Food and Drug Stores
> Country: United States

Once the most common drug store in America, Rite Aid has struggled financially in recent years and now ranks among the world’s least admired companies. Martin Grass, CEO and son of the company’s founder, was one of six executives convicted of conspiracy in 2003, after the company engaged in illegal accounting practices.

Several attempted mergers and acquisitions with Walgreens and Albertson’s fell through in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Walgreens did agree to buy over 1,900 of Rite Aid’s roughly 4,500 stores in a deal that was approved in 2017. At the beginning of 2017, Rite Aid’s stock price was trading at over $173 per share. As of February 2021, the stock was worth less than $24 per share.

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19. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
> Industry Pharmaceuticals
> Country: Israel

Israeli drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is the world’s largest manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals. The company has faced multiple lawsuits and shelled out hundreds of million of dollars in recent high profile lawsuits.

In August 2020, the Justice Department charged Teva and several other companies with conspiring to raise the price of generic drugs that treat conditions like brain cancer, cystic fibrosis, arthritis, and many more. The company denied the allegations. The DOJ also accused Teva of causing hundreds of millions of dollars in false Medicare claims. Teva also paid an $85 million settlement related to its role in the opioid epidemic in Oklahoma.

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18. L Brands
> Industry Specialty retailers
> Country: United States

L Brands is the parent company of Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, and Pink. It used to have majority stakes in brands like Lane Bryant, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Express but sold them off to other companies. L Brands was also set to sell Victoria’s secret to a private equity firm, but that firm called off the deal amid COVID-19.

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17. China Merchants Group
> Industry Delivery
> Country: China

China Merchant Group is a state-owned conglomerate operating out of Hong Kong. It invests in and operates assets in transportation, infrastructure, finance, real estate, and more.

The company reportedly considered taking its port holdings company private after its shares declined in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking ahead, analysts are expecting earnings to decline. China Merchant Group is one of four delivery companies to rank among the world’s 25 least admired companies.

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16. YRC Worldwide
> Industry Trucking, transportation, logistics
> Country: United States

Shipping and logistics company YRC Worldwide changed its name to Yellow in February 2021. The company has been the subject of numerous negative headlines in recent years. In 2018, the Justice Department sued the company, claiming the freight delivery company overcharged the Department of Defense from 2005 through at least 2013 by inflating weights of military shipments. YRC denied the accusations.

In July 2020, the federal government acquired a nearly 30% stake in the company in exchange for a $700 million bailout. But this deal came under scrutiny from the Congressional Oversight Commission as one of YRC’s executives was placed on the Trump administration’s COVID-19 economic task force just a few months earlier. The loan came out of a $17 billion fund designed to help companies considered critical to national security — a criteria that the Commission said YRC did not meet.