Charlie Sheen is a violently hating Warlock imbued with tiger blood. He's bi-winning, even when he's losing at least $16 million now that Warner Bros. has canceled production of the final eight episodes of Two and a Half Men, in which Sheen co-stars.
I can't blame Sirius for wanting to cash in while the cash is still there, but to me, old Chuck is just another fine example of wishful thinking at work. And eerily reminiscent of every stock spam email I've ever read. Pitches like this one:
"The management team at Resource Exchange of America Corp. has targeted a number of strong, but undervalued, asset recovery firms ... Negotiations are already under way -- this team knows that it's the perfect time to act on Buffett's wise words," wrote one stock promoter in its email come-on.
Now compare that to Sheen describing to ABC News what goes on daily at the mansion he calls "Sober Valley Lodge," where lives with two women he calls his goddesses: "It's clean. There's cleansing, there's healing here. There's laughter, there's children, there's beautiful women and perfect food. We just win."
Can't win for losing
Let this be a lesson to you, Fool. When CEOs or stock pitchers tell you their company is winning, they're probably losing. In the case of Resources Exchange, the touters were spouting off last August when the stock traded for $0.57 a share. Today, it trades for $0.08.
Winning! Or not.
Interestingly, Sheen has a personal connection to (ahem) losing penny stocks. His new best friend is bankrupt trader and former Major League Baseball pro Lenny Dykstra, who once had a stock-picking column at TheStreet.com. Here are three more Dykstra-worthy stocks that Fools and Warlocks alike should avoid.
1. National Pharmaceuticals
What's being pitched: "The company has embarked into the business of licensing mid stage development drugs for further development and marketing worldwide," reads the sponsored pitch sent to our TMFStockSpam account.
Reality: Not only is National Pharma's website light on specifics, but a marketing outfit called IAB Media also recently paid $30,000 cash for a one-day campaign executed by professional stock touter Epic Stock Picks. CEO Elaine Affleck, though already CFO of Braz Diamond Mining, was named to National Pharma's top job in December. You also won't find any filings with the SEC.
What's being pitched: "[Viaspace] is a clean energy company providing products and technology for renewable and alternative energy, most notably, Giant King™ Grass ... Giant King™ Grass is a fast growing, high yield, hybrid grass that is neither genetically modified nor invasive. It grows in a variety of soil conditions and does not compete with food crops," reads the sponsored pitch sent by ShamrockStocks to TMFStockSpam.
Reality: Though by all appearances a legit business, the company had burned through more than $600,000 in cash during the first nine months of 2010. In this sense, the spam seems aimed at raising cash that, unlike Giant King Grass, the company can't grow organically.
3. American Jianye Greentech Holdings
What's being pitched: "The company's alcohol-based fuels burn with higher efficiency and significantly lower toxic waste emissions than unleaded gasoline," reads the sponsored pitch sent to TMFStockSpam.
Reality: Located in Harbin City, China, the company changed its name from Gateway Certifications in November 2009 after a reverse merger. And what did Gateway do? It certified that minority-owned businesses here in the U.S. are, in fact, minority-owned. No wonder a third-party called Unise Investment Corp. paid $25,000 to SteroidStocks to pump this sucker. No one would pay attention otherwise.
A better way to win
These stocks are on a drug. It's called "wishful thinking," and it's readily available. But if you take it, your retirement will melt away and your spouse and children will weep over your exploded portfolio.
So let's not go there. Instead, here are four reasonably priced, high-rated businesses from related industries. Each has a paid a high-yielding dividend for at least five years, while also increasing that payout by 5% or more annually:
5-Year Dividend Growth
|Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY )||5.7%||5.2%|
|GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK )||5.6%||8.1%|
|Magellan Midstream Partners (NYSE: MMP )||5.1%||7.5%|
|Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EPD )||5.4%||6.4%|
Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.
Look enticing? They should. High-yielding stocks have a history of beating not only their lower-yielding peers, but also the broader market, and they do so without the same stomach-churning volatility that's common to penny stocks.
Or in terms Sheen might appreciate: Less risk, more winning. No tiger blood required.
But don't just take my word for it. Use My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service, to keep tabs on all the companies mentioned here.