It's the seven-second solution. If you've had a Krispy Kreme (NYSE:KKD) doughnut lying around the cupboard for a few days, just pop it into the microwave, nuke it for seven seconds, and it returns to its warmed glory. No, it will never be quite as tasty as it was when it first rolled fresh off the line, but it sure beats gnawing on a stale doughnut.

Now if only the same process could be applied to the doughnut maker's stock. If zapping a Krispy Kreme stock certificate could heat it back up to anywhere near its fresh highs, what a glazed world it would be.

Realistic? Well, not in the literal sense of course. However, is a banged-up stock wading in such dire straits that nothing can save it? The beauty of looking over the cesspool of downtrodden equities is that there is so much pessimism priced into the companies that sometimes all it takes is a blip of a catalyst to bring the shares back up to respectable levels. Granted, there is a crate of risk involved here. The fallen aren't misunderstood. They're usually unloved for a reason.

The assessment of that opportunity needs to be feasible. You can make lemonade out of lemons, but no one is going to drink it if you serve it out of a urinal. So here are a few banged-up stocks and some ideas on what could recharge their negative sentiments.

Blockbuster (NYSE:BBI): Nobody wants to have a Blockbuster night. Shareholders don't. Even parent company Viacom (NYSE:VIA) wants this mild child emancipated. This may seem odd given the fact that the company produced record revenues and just over $400 million in free cash flow last year. However, it's clear that the market is looking ahead at the threats of video on demand and mail delivery specialist Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).

While carving meatier inroads in both of those areas may help jump-start the healing process, the more feasible approach will come in utilizing its roughly 9,000 locations and evolving into more than just a video rental destination. The company is already doing that. It's been doing that for years. But the quicker it succeeds in distancing itself from the video and DVD loaning, the less likely it will be perceived as a company one breakthrough away from obsolescence. With no-brainer sequels to Shrek, Harry Potter, and Spider-Man now months away from their home-video releases, the company will have no problem driving traffic into its stores. What it does with that traffic is what will dictate the stock's direction.

Kodak (NYSE:EK): What do you do when your bread-and-butter business becomes crackers and margarine? Digital cameras have driven down the demand for photography film, while digital storage and selective snapshot deletions have hurt the photo finishing craft. So it's not as if Kodak didn't see the trend coming. It has done everything it can from making digital cameras to specializing in the print development of digital prints to running the site for virtual storage. The pie is still round, and Kodak's slice is still thick. But who shrunk the pie?

Monetizing digital photography will be Kodak's ride back to fiscal relevance. However, it will take a more clever approach because some stones won't bleed no matter how hard you squeeze them. Kodak has to reinvent itself as an entertainment company. Because the company still has access to the consumer in the digital age through its various products and services, it needs to convert that magnetism into new revenue streams.

Delta (NYSE:DAL): Like a flight plan at any of the air carrier's nearly 500 destinations, Delta's had its shares of ups and downs over the years. This past year has been brutal, with the stock surrendering over half of its value. With executives shuffling while debt and pension obligations continue to grow louder, is this vehicle even safe for flying?

As we recently pointed out, half of the company's revenues last year were earmarked for salaries. The same company that last week celebrated 75 years of gracing the airways is in a dogfight to see if it can make it to 76 without filing for bankruptcy. It's obvious that JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) and Southwest (NYSE:LUV) have established low-cost models with lower salaries and fleets that are easier to maintain. The old carriers just can't compete financially as they have little choice but to match the fares. Delta already launched its potential catalyst in Song. Trying to beat JetBlue at its own game with an edgy, entertaining attitude is Delta's promised land if it is able to grow Song profitably. A Song spinoff, to distance itself from the sandbags of its parent company, may be a more immediate fix to revitalize the company.

Krispy Kreme: Yes, even the doughnut maker that inspired the seven nuked ticks toward a meal ticket can be saved. The company that was once so promising that it was singled out in our Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter has been roughed up by more than just the all-out war on carbohydrates. However, anything may do the trick -- from a push to grow its specialty coffee business to broadening its offerings with healthier alternatives to revamping its retail strategy -- as long as the moves don't dilute the richness of the brand itself.

There are some more sluggish companies that can use a seven-second makeover. I will cover them next month.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz wonders if eight seconds would be overkill. He also owns shares of Krispy Kreme, Viacom, and Netflix. Rick's stock holdings can be viewed online, as can the Fool's disclosure policy .