Wednesday'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 Wednesday:


Closing Price

CAPS Rating

(5 max)





Dollar Thrifty (NYSE: DTG  )





Avis Budget (NYSE: CAR  )





Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE  )





General Motors (NYSE: GM  )





Circuit City (NYSE: CC  )





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

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, too.

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

We begin with Massey Energy, which, like James River Coal (Nasdaq: JRCC  ) and other peers, took a beating when coal prices fell by as much as $20 per ton, according to press reports.

But that's not why Massey makes today's list. At issue is its legal tussle with Harman Mining. So far, Massey is winning. West Virginia's Supreme Court recently awarded a $76.3 million judgment to the company. But Harman yesterday said it would appeal ... to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Mark down a few million more in legal fees, Massey.

Next up is Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, which reduced guidance this week. Fewer consumers are vacationing, which means less demand for rental cars.


Here's what you might not know: This is the second time that Dollar Thrifty has reduced estimates. Only this cut is far deeper than the last. Executives won't give a revised range for earnings -- there simply isn't enough visibility into how rising gas prices will affect margins.

So what is the guidance? "Based on our present forecast, we expect to remain profitable on a non-GAAP basis, with a minimum of $50 million in Corporate EBITDA for the year," CEO Gary Paxton said.

Earlier estimates called for $97 million to $115 million in EBITDA. You can do the math.

But our winner is Circuit City, which former suitor Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI  ) abandoned this week.

Or did it? The New York Times is reporting that Blockbuster may re-up its bid for Circuit City later. Unidentified insiders told The Times that a combined company could cut costs dramatically.

Perhaps, but I don't think that's the real story. Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes -- the man who engineered a turnaround at 7-Eleven -- isn't dumb. He knows how to buy cheaply. My guess is he thinks that Circuit City will soon be selling at a fire-sale price.

Me, too.

Circuit City and its sad search for merger love ... Wednesday'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 Tuesday with more stock horror stories.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers, who is ranked 19,594 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.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (7)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 03, 2008, at 1:53 PM, KK5263 wrote:

    Shouldn't surprise anyone really familiar with DTG . A company needs more than Figure Heads, Good Ole Boys, Fair Weather Friends, and Spin Doctors to be successful . With these people in Management positions, the Company is guaranteed to FAIL . It starts at the top.... their ONLY concern was looking to make a quick buck . You have to really not care, to consistently be dead LAST in ALL polls of Customer Satisfaction . Looks like that Scrooge Business Management mentality is reaping what they have sown . The economy just shines a blazing spotlight on this Company's mismanagement . Any other companies desperate enough to need some of DTG management people ? The Company would seen to have finally run out of 1 Time Suckers to Hook, to make a living . Makes the 3 Stooges & Marx Brothers look like Geniuses in Business Management !

    The Truth hurts, but Facts are Facts .

  • Report this Comment On July 03, 2008, at 2:39 PM, KK5263 wrote:


    Closer inspection will reveal that Massey Energy & Circuit City are much better positioned with respect to their business niche and what they

    have to offer customers than DTG .

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