Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Tuesday's Worst Stocks in the World

Bad days. We all have them; some of us deserve them. These five stocks' naughty ways drew investors' scorn on Tuesday:


Closing Price

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

% Change

52-Week Range











Principal Financial (NYSE:PFG)





Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS)





CBL & Associates (NYSE:CBL)





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

Well, OK, we can't exactly call these stocks naughty. There are days when five-star winners or newsletter recommendations appear here. (Today, for example.)

But if you're an investor, you'll have plenty of bad days. The trick is to avoid dating -- or, worse, marrying -- your losers. That's why I listen when our 83,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community of stock pickers chimes in with a poor rating or a negative pitch. You should, too -- starting with today's list of the worst stocks in the world.

We begin with Barnes & Noble, which a JPMorgan analyst downgraded yesterday over broader economic concerns and tough competition. There's no shortage of the latter -- Borders (NYSE: BGP  ) and (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) , for example.

But that couldn't have been news to CAPS investors, including All-Star abitarecatania. Quoting from his pitch last month:

E-books will do to you, what iTunes did to Tower Records ... People sitting around drinking coffee in a 12,000 [square foot store] is not going to pay the rent ... Public library is still free and just as close to home ...

'Nuff said.

Next up is Principal Financial, which on Monday after market close reported an 88% decline in fourth-quarter earnings. More troubling, though, is what caused the collapse. Principal suffered a $211 million loss in its investment portfolio, including $49 million attributed to subprime securities.

It gets worse. As an asset manager, Principal is subject to the whims of Mr. Market -- not a very good position to be in right now. Here's how company president and chief operating officer Larry Zimpleman put it in a statement:

Looking forward, our 2008 results will clearly be impacted by difficult market conditions -- continued uncertainty around the economy, continued adverse credit conditions, and continued volatility in asset values and in the equity markets, including a 6 percent decline in the S&P 500 Index in the month of January.


But our winner is VCA Antech. As a supplier of veterinary medicine, it's supposed to be insulated from broader economic concerns. Not this time. Quoting VCA chief Bob Antin, from a company statement:

We believe that, historically, the animal healthcare industry and our business have been relatively resistant to changes in the general economy, but not immune to them. However, the fourth quarter results appear to indicate that we were marginally impacted by the uncertainty in the economy. In addition, the timing of the Christmas and New Year holidays, the California fires, the weather and competition also had an adverse impact on our results. [Emphasis mine.]

I've no doubt that Antin is correct pointing out what went wrong. But am I the only one troubled by his list of excuses ... I mean, factors ... that contributed to the miss? Watch out for low-flying butterflies.

VCA Antech and its whoops-didn't-see-that-coming management team ... 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.

I'll be back tomorrow with more stock horror stories.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 571825, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/27/2016 1:34:51 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 4 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,199.33 30.06 0.17%
S&P 500 2,139.43 -3.73 -0.17%
NASD 5,250.27 -33.13 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/26/2016 4:02 PM
BKS $10.60 Up +0.15 +1.44%
Barnes and Noble CAPS Rating: *
PFG $53.01 Up +0.05 +0.09%
Principal Financia… CAPS Rating: *****
WOOF $63.20 Down -3.00 -4.53%
VCA Antech CAPS Rating: ****
AMZN $822.59 Down -12.59 -1.51% CAPS Rating: ****
BGPIQ.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Borders Group CAPS Rating: *
CBL $11.46 Down -0.41 -3.45%
CBLand Associates… CAPS Rating: **