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 (out of 5)

% Change

52-Week Range

AirTran Holdings (NYSE:AAI)





R.H. Donnelley





Northwest Airlines (NYSE:NWA)





Dillard's (NYSE:DDS)





Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (NASDAQ:RRGB)





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 them.

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 Red Robin. On Wednesday, its executives told a gathering of investors that it expected same-store sales growth to come in close to the low end of guidance, or 2.5%.


Here's the problem: Consumers aren't interested how a corn shortage affects beef prices. They're more concerned about paying $10 -- or two-and-a-half gallons of gas -- for a burger.

Next up is Dillard's, which has the same problem -- only worse. Executives there say that the retailer suffered a 5% decline in same-store sales during June.

The report, issued this morning, follows from Morgan Stanley's (NYSE:MS) downgrade of the entire retail sector. Dillard's took a hit on the news, then followed with poor numbers, confirming the worst.

Well, the worst for now. At least one CAPS player envisions Dillard's falling all the way into bankruptcy court.

But our winner is AirTran Holdings, which earlier this week cut 480 jobs.

Much as I'm saddened by the human tragedy that follows these cuts -- and 2,500 similar cuts at Northwest -- AirTran makes our list because there's little hope that these layoffs will boost the business long-term.

Rewind to April with me. Back then, AirTran said it would issue $65 million in convertible debt and 14.3 million shares to keep from crashing. Higher altitudes in the way of earnings growth, management said, wouldn't be available before next year.

Now we know that AirTran's fundraising was insufficient. Anyone want to bet that growth has moved past the 2009 horizon?

AirTran Holdings ... bleeding fuel for earnings growth, and Wednesday's worst stock in the CAPS world.

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I'll be back tomorrow with more stock horror stories.