If you’re making a list of stocks that have seen the highest highs and the lowest lows, United States Gypsum (USG) – the largest gypsum products manufacturer in North America – should be on it. The company declared bankruptcy in June 2001, its second in 10 years, to stem a tide of asbestos litigation for sales dating back over 60 years. Falling to $3.65 a share on June 25, 2001, the day of the Chapter 11 filing,the company engineered a rare recovery from bankruptcy that preserved common shareholder equity. Buoyed by the red-hot construction market and price rises for its gypsum wallboard products from shortages generated by Hurricane Katrina reconstruction, the stock hit $121.70 by the second quarter of 2006. But as housing hemorrhaged the shares declined to a 2009 low of $4.16. Though reaching back to $25.59 in April 2010, now they’re in the $15-$17 range.
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