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

comScore (Nasdaq: SCOR  )

$21.45

***

(22.54%)

$17.31-$42.00

Virgin Mobile (NYSE: VM  )

$2.91

**

(15.65%)

$1.90-$15.69

Grubb & Ellis (NYSE: GBE  )

$4.49

**

(10.02%)

$3.80-$12.15

RH Donnelley (NYSE: RHD  )

$3.23

*

(9.52%)

$3.19-$78.10

Hoku Scientific (Nasdaq: HOKU  )

$5.52

*

(8.76%)

$5.50-$14.88

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, Motley Fool CAPS as of 6/24/08.

Naughty?
Well, OK, we can't exactly call these stocks naughty. There are days when five-star winners and newsletter recommendations appear here. Today isn't one of those days.

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 110,000-person-strong Motley Fool CAPS community of stock pickers speaks with a poor rating or a negative pitch. You should listen, too.

Thus, here is today's list of the worst stocks in the world.

Worse
We begin with Grubb & Ellis, which lost a key executive yesterday. According to the company's press announcement, "Grubb & Ellis Company ... announced today that Robert H. Osbrink, Executive Vice President and Chairman of Transaction Services, has left the Company effective immediately. [Emphasis added.]

No reason given. No lead-time. It'd be alarmist to suggest dirty dealings, so I won't. But I've never seen a sudden resignation augur excellent returns for shareholders.

Worser
Next up is R.H. Donnelley, a former guest in this column for a not-so-artful dividend dodge. On Monday, the company said it would exchange $761.9 million in old debt for $412.9 million -- which I calculate to be $419.2 million -- in new debt.

It's a great short-term deal for shareholders. Most R.H. Donnelley bondholders will receive $0.70 or less for every dollar of debt they hold.

Of course, there's a catch that makes this deal far less attractive over the long haul. R.H. Donnelley's new notes offer 11.75% in annual interest, well above the 6.875% to 8.875% it was paying. Says something about the company's credit quality, doesn't it?

Worst
But our winner is Virgin Mobile, which fired another salvo in what appears to be a margin-crushing price war among mobile-service providers.

Virgin says it will offer unlimited calls on its network for $79.99 a month, a rate that undercuts by $20 the unlimited-calling plans that Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , AT&T (NYSE: T  ) , and T-Mobile introduced in February.

Virgin and its scorched-earth mobile marketing plan ... 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.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers, ranked 20,171 out of more than 110,000 participants in CAPS, also writes for Rule Breakers. He hopes that Keith Olbermann doesn't mind the blatant theft of his "Worst Person in the World" segment from Countdown. Remember, Keith, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy thinks cooked spinach is the worst veggie in the world.


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