There are times when a spoonful of scorn comes with buckets of love. Some of the stocks that attract the most criticism get the most applause, too. Here's a sampling of heavy hate loads from our community of 8,000 at Motley Fool CAPS:




1-Year Return





General Motors (NYSE:GM)




Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL)








Vonage Holdings (NYSE:VG)




Blockbuster (NYSE:BBI)




Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)




*Return since Vonage IPO on May 25, 2006.
Data current as of Oct. 4, 2006.

Few stocks have attracted more bears than these -- only 15 stocks have generated 100 or more "underperform" ratings -- and they fall in two general camps: (1) the out-and-out hated, and (2) the spectacularly popular. Vonage and Blockbuster are the standard bearers of the first camp, with General Motors not far behind. Let frequent pitch writer Har1en explain what's wrong with Blockbuster, for example:

This stock isn't a falling knife. It's stuck in the floor and vibrating. If they weren't held back by huge debt loads, unprofitable stores, a pathetic brand, and a management crew with rocks for brains, I might pick this as a turn-around stock.

As you can see from the table, the stock hasn't been doing too well lately, while GM floated up a bit on the basis of those overseas partnership talks that eventually came to nothing. We'll see how long that boat stays afloat. The overwhelming majority of CAPS pickers think its capsize is imminent.

A love-hate relationship
There may be a few Apple haters out there, but they only make up about 16.7% of the CAPS players with an opinion on that company. When you have a huge following, it stands to reason that a few opinions will run contrary to the consensus, and the bear calls can rack up pretty quickly. The top player in the game, TMFEldrehad, is an Apple bear:

Let's face it, the iPod is nothing more than a piece of hardware which will eventually become more and more of a commodity that is faced with continual pricing pressures. While the early mover advantage can lead to very nice returns in the early stages of the product life cycle, the later stages are dominated by low cost producers -- something which Apple doesn't exactly have a storied history of being.

... to which community member marktpirkl offers this rebuttal:

If you honestly think that the current iteration of the iPod is the end game then you haven't been following this company very closely -- witness the latest laptop edition which runs OS X and Windows.

The market has sided with marktpirkl so far, and Apple continues to crank out jaw-dropping iPod and Mac sales. The majority of our Apple-ish CAPS players have scored quite well on that pick so far.

Get your own cap!
Do large bear crowds point out the worst stocks on the market, or does the quality of their opinions mean more than sheer quantity? What companies would you put on a list of the biggest losers available? Get in the game now and tell us what you think. It's entirely free. Your Fool cap is waiting.

Netflix and Starbucks are both Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. See what drew the founding Fools to these stocks with a 30-day free trial.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund is a Netflix shareholder, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. He thinks Google is a winner and has scored a few points on that pick. Think he's wrong? Get in the game and add your own rating. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like. Foolish disclosure is for winners.