And the Worst Stock for 2010 Is …

2009 went a long way toward healing the wounds that the market meltdown inflicted on stock investors. But even after a rally that's lasted the better part of a year, many are concerned that stocks may be poised for an even bigger fall.

That's one reason we asked our Foolish contributors to make their picks for the worst stock of 2010. They looked at seven  candidates and asked Foolish readers to weigh in on which they thought would do the worst this year. Judging from the results, you made it very clear that you thought some of those picks didn't even belong on the list in the first place. Yet two solid candidates from badly hurt industries soared to the top of the balloting -- and the winner didn't need a photo finish to earn its dubious honor.

Yep, we can hear you now
The most controversial pick of the contest was Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) . After having beaten out Silver Wheaton as the readers' pick for best stock of 2010, Apple seemed like an odd choice for this contest. But Fool contributor Anders Bylund took a stab at laying out the bearish case.

Readers didn't buy it. By an overwhelming 750-vote margin, Apple fans reasserted the stock's positive prospects for 2010.

Bad, but not worst
With several other picks, readers weren't as emphatically supportive. The phoenix-like recoveries of financials Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) had many of you thinking that their good runs would have to come to an end soon. Concerns about consumers and their ability to keep spending in a sluggish recovery bolstered the case for retailer Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD  ) and coffee maven Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX  ) .

Nevertheless, when asked if those stocks were the worst, a majority of voters still said no. Only two companies had more bearish votes than bullish ones.

There can be only one
Those two stocks put up a strong fight. Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM  ) is the ultimate poster child for the mortgage crisis, with government support and a stock price that's down 98% from its highs. And in case value investors thought that a stock trading for $1 must be a bargain, Motley Fool Inside Value lead advisor Philip Durell put those false hopes to rest.

Yet even Fannie Mae couldn't stand up to the perennially struggling Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK  ) . With shares trading lower than they did 40 years ago, at the height of the Kodachrome craze, Fool contributor Rich Duprey colorfully put the kibosh on anyone who expects Kodak to be more than a patent-troller that will never emerge from turnaround mode.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our contest. This is your last chance to weigh in -- does Kodak deserve to be worst of the worst, or is there an even worse stock out there? Chime in with a comment below, and may you avoid owning losing stocks in 2010 and beyond!

Sears Holdings is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Apple and Starbucks are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns shares of Starbucks. The Fool's disclosure policy makes you a winner.


Read/Post Comments (12) | Recommend This Article (27)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2010, at 5:07 PM, langco1 wrote:

    sirius is a good call for worse stock...long over due to be delisted and without its life support infushions of cash ...bankrupt already...

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2010, at 5:47 PM, 11787HOT wrote:

    The worst stock is Goldman sachs, they are thiefs,

    lyers, etc.etc. they manipulate prices on oil futures

    contracts . prices go up on food and fuel because of them . They also manipulate the govt.

    I watched this morn. Giethner get questioned on how many ex GS employees work in the NY Federal Govt. All buddies getting paid to manipulate the taxpayers money. They make billions, and give themselves hefty Bonuses. Its mind boggeling to see how easy they buy people. P.S. Paulsen also was an ex emplyee. Duh....The financials will also stink for a while .I dont trust any of the big ones.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2010, at 6:12 PM, jesse2159 wrote:

    I too pick Sirius. How anyone who is not delusional can see future profit in this company has entered the Interglactic world of investing.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2010, at 8:09 PM, MadStabber wrote:

    Just two letter...GM

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2010, at 9:01 PM, secondclass wrote:

    I pick any international airline, EADS or BA. The Christmas day Detroit bomber had 17 days training. Had the enemy given him 20 days training, using his weapon once or twice on the ground, he would have suceeded. Our enemies have shown themselves to be capable, innovative and creative, bringing the world's greatest superpower to a near draw with the IED and suicide bomb. Two 747s blowing up in mid ocean and international travel ceases.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2010, at 1:25 AM, Salukilover wrote:

    Fannie Mae & Freddi Mac. I am a bottom feederand have doubled twice on one and 3 times on the other. Buy at $.80 & sell at 1.60 - easy money

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2010, at 6:28 AM, offroadhero wrote:

    I'm with you Salukilover. FNM was my best performer for 2009. In at .58 and sold for $1.92 in Aug 09 rally. Today I sold calls for a $2.00 stike. Somebody actually bought them. I hate being a short seller but the profits are hard to ignore.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2010, at 12:42 PM, eagles162 wrote:

    this is the perfect time to buy seic 2010 will see a 30 to 50% gain

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2010, at 1:33 PM, tabu12 wrote:

    Great, in one place you advise buying Apple as a January buy, then in another say its one of the worst stocks for 2010. Sure is helpful advice !! Glad I am paying for such help

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2010, at 3:43 PM, mikecart1 wrote:

    My Worst 2010 Stock Liist (come back and thank me December 31, 2010 when I'm right):

    -FNM

    -FRE

    -SIRI

    -AAPL

    -GOOG

    -MSFT

    The last 3 are obvious. iPad, Worthless Features, and Windows 7. Seems like these days, producing more junk that no one needs but makes people think they need is the business plan for 2010. Thanks Steve and Bill. Maybe next time you can improve and just go back to DOS software.

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2010, at 3:16 PM, Ironbob wrote:

    Some of you need to invest in better tin foil for your hats.

  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2011, at 7:07 PM, WeirdJoe wrote:

    I know this may seem Weird and not right with the article, so dont flame or insult me please. O.o

    but Ive been reviewing stocks, and so far I've come to the conclusion that the best stock Was Sputnik Enterprises. It rose practically more then 530%! the lowest it went was .01, but soon after it went a little under $5, then did a big rise to $27... Atleast thats what most stock websites indicate. I might be wrong, but i think im right... I feel weird.

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