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Welcome, brave Fools, to our house of horror, where terrifying tales of investing frights rule the night.
In past years, we've celebrated Halloween by identifying the scariest stocks on the market, including a member of the living dead in the form of once-zombie bank Citigroup (NYSE: C ) . We recounted the legendary ghost ship from the haunted sea, DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS ) . Since then the dry bulk carrier has claimed numerous victims, with its barrages of equity offerings that plundered existing shareholders' capital. And Fools were smart to heed our 2007 warnings about the creeping terror of Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX ) , an investment that lost over 97% of its value in the next 12 months.
The 12 companies that made our list in 2009 certainly had a tumultuous year. Two, Palm and Diedrich Coffee, were gobbled up, by Hewlett-Packard and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR ) , respectively. And another two, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were dishonorably delisted from the NYSE in July. Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) was stuck in neutral, Goldman Sachs and Research In Motion both lost 8%, and Dryships brought up the rear with a 31% drop. The only ones with market-beating performance were Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU ) , Sirius XM, and Crocs, with First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR ) coming in as roughly a market-perform.
This year we have a blood-curdling line-up that pays tribute to the B-movie monster flicks of the past, whose low budget scares frightened moviegoers. But those old films pale in comparison to the nightmares you'll see in this series. Each one of our full-length features highlights a unique story of financial peril, and unlike these B-movies, the shortcomings of our tales' targets won't grow endearing over time.
Read on and make sure to avoid these 8 investing horror shows: