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Tuesday's Worst Stocks in the World

Bad days. We all have them; some of us deserve them.

Here are five stocks whose naughty ways drew investors' scorn on Tuesday:

Company

Closing Price

CAPS Rating (5 Max)

% Change

52-Week Range

Trex Company (NYSE:TWP)

$7.97

*

(9.74%)

$7.15 - $27.70

US Airways (NYSE:LCC)

$23.08

*

(8.23%)

$22.68 - $63.27

BIOLASE (NASDAQ:BLTI)

$2.89

*

(46.88%)

$2.76 - $10.50

Emageon (NASDAQ:EMAG)

$5.09

**

(32.13%)

$4.85 - $16.91

APAC Customer Services (NASDAQ:APAC)

$2.07

*

(14.81%)

$1.95 - $5.18

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, Motley Fool CAPS.

Naughty?
Well, OK, we can't exactly call these stocks naughty. But none of them get much love from our 73,000-person-strong Motley Fool CAPS community of amateur and professional stock pickers.

To the contrary -- when it comes to these stocks, CAPS investors have gone thumbs down more often than film critic Roger Ebert. They don't believe any of these stocks are worth owning, and that some may be worth shorting.

Which of today's candidates is worst? Read on, dear Fool.

Worse
We begin with plastic decking maker Trex, which yesterday cut its 2007 sales guidance to $315 million to $335 million from $330 million to $350 million. A $17 million reserve for defective products is partially to blame.

Not that Fools were surprised. Here's how bearish CAPS investor willowman put it June: "Plastic lumber looks crappy and is too expensive, I wish I would have shorted this stock 2 years ago, but it will go down more."

Trex is down nearly 60% since.

Worser
Next up is dental laser maker BIOLASE, which took a beating after announcing sharp declines in revenue and earnings in Q3. Management -- or I should say "new" management, for director Federico Pignatelli replaced CEO Jeffrey Jones -- blamed the shortfall on a lack of interest in its Waterlase technology. Quoting Pignatelli from the press release:

Revenue results for the quarter ended September 30, 2007 were well below our expectations, notwithstanding the typically slower summer quarter. Sales of our diode laser systems continued to outpace those in the same quarter of 2006, but sales of WaterlaseMD all-tissue laser systems showed a significant decrease. [Emphasis added.]

Therein lies the problem. Even if you believe BIOLASE when it calls Waterlase a clinically superior technology, or have confidence in its distribution deal with Henry Schein (Nasdaq: HSIC  ) , there weren't enough buyers of the product in Q3.

And for the record: Waterlase accounted for 74% of revenue in Q1. No wonder Jones was shown the door.

Worst
But our winner is US Airways, which on Tuesday reported miserable traffic numbers for October. Revenue passenger miles declined 1.5% and capacity fell 5.5%. Load factor, meanwhile, rose to 80.5%, a new record. (Here's a decoder ring for those confused by the jargon.)

In other words: US Airways flew less. But the times it did fly, its aircraft were packed tighter than sardines in a can.

Yet none of this is why the airline tops today's list of losers. This is: US Airways ranked worst among the major airlines in terms of customer complaints in September, according to Department of Transportation statistics.

Fewer flights. Packed aircraft. Subpar service. And this was the company that once promised to rescue Delta (NYSE: DAL  ) via a merger? Puh-leeze. US Airways -- Tuesday's worst stock in the CAPS world.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think by signing up for CAPS today. It's 100% free to participate.

See you back here tomorrow for more stock horror stories.


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