Monday'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 Monday:

Company

Closing Price

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

%

Change

52-Week

Range

Virtusa (Nasdaq: VRTU  )

$7.24

***

(28.81%)

$7.05-$19.97

Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE  )

$11.91

*

(17.86%)

$10.28-$67.20

Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM  )

$15.74

*

(16.19%)

$14.65-$70.57

Fleetwood Enterprises (NYSE: FLE  )

$1.99

*

(12.72%)

$1.82-$11.41

Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH  )

$4.45

*

(9.92%)

$4.45-$23.96

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

Naughty?
Well, OK, we can't exactly call these stocks naughty. There are days when five-star winners and Motley Fool newsletter recommendations appear on this list. 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, too.

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

Worse
We begin with Fleetwood Enterprises, which fell again on concerns over rising fuel costs. Fair enough. But is fuel the only issue here? I don't think so. Here's how Fleetwood compares with peer and Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt pick Thor Industries:

Metrics

Fleetwood*

Thor*

ROE

3.4%

19.5%

ROIC

3%

16.9%

Free cash flow (mil)

($37.5)

$134.4

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.
*For the trailing 12 months ended April 27, and 30, 2008, respectively.
ROE = return on equity; ROIC = return on invested capital.

One is producing cash flow in a tough economic environment; the other isn't. 'Nuff said.

Worser
Next up is Virtusa, which said it didn't have budget approval for work it had begun for its largest customer. Consequently, Reuters reports, the company lowered its first-quarter earnings forecast to no more than $0.03 per share, well below the $0.15 Wall Street had been expecting.

Talk about irony. Virtusa was recently the top pick among Indian stocks in CAPS for its steady, predictable growth. "Providing IT services is much less volatile than products," All-Star investor Ish100 wrote in March. "They have a number of blue-chip clients providing a steady revenue stream."

Here's the problem: Virtusa no longer competes just with its subcontinent neighbors. American consulting firms such as IBM and Accenture (NYSE: ACN  ) are winning work in India nearly as fast as Infosys (Nasdaq: INFY  ) has caught on here.

Worst
But our winner is Freddie Mac, which sank on concerns that the housing crisis could continue through 2008, according to Associated Press reports.

Freddie took a greater hit than most because it is still trying to raise $5.5 billion in capital, all of which will come via stock sales. Yet, as the market deteriorates and pushes its shares lower, the cost of the funding to existing shareholders -- via dilution -- increases.

Think of Freddie Mac as a plane that's nose-dived and has yet to pull up. The longer the tailspin lasts, the harder it'll be to regain altitude. Anyone have a parachute?

Freddie Mac ... badly in need of a bailout and Monday'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.com contributor Tim Beyers, who is ranked 20,208 out of more than 110,000 participants in CAPS, also writes for Motley Fool 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.

Accenture is an Inside Value pick. Thor Industries is a Hidden Gems Pay Dirt recommendation. Try either of these investing services risk-free for 30 days.

Tim owned shares of IBM at the time of publication. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy thinks that cooked spinach is the worst veggie in the world.


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