Table: Top Guzzlers

Which companies are among the weakest in managing their cash? We asked REL Consultancy Group, a cash-management adviser, to crunch the numbers. They assessed inventories, working capital, and accounts payable and receivable. Based on a nine-point scale, companies scoring above 3 are considered to be doing a poor job.

CASH RISK CASH ON COMPANY EFFICIENCY* FACTOR HAND (MIL.) AMERICAN GREETINGS -77% 5 $34 CORNING -42 4 1,471 AQUILA -37 5 442 TOYS 'R' US -32 5 1,023 CIRCUIT CITY STORES -32 4 885 BORDERS GROUP -27 5 269 ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES -27 4 429 KAISER ALUMINUM -18 4 NA GOOD GUYS -12 7 4 DYNEGY -7 5 757

* The change in the cash from operations divided by sales over eight quarters, up to the latest available quarter, according to REL. Negative numbers indi- cate a worsening trend over the two years. Data: REL, Bloomberg Financial Markets, BusinessWeek

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