This is a good question and there are many reasons why a delayed bankruptcy is a good move. Let me name a few of them.
First, this gives time for other companies to see if they want to take over the company through a purchase or a merger. This would be a better scenario than a bankruptcy. For example, the workers of the company may still have a job in a merger or even a take over. Shareholders will be much happier as well, as they would not loose all their money or most of it.
Second, the company that acquires another company may also benefit. They would get a company at a reduced price and they may be able to help their existing business. Moreover, if there is time, companies have the ability to negotiate and make deals. Time in this area is essential.
All of this is somewhat fresh in our history. In 2008 many banks were swallowed up by larger ones. For example, Wachovia was purchased by Wells Fargo and J. P. Morgan took over Bear Stearns.