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10 Worst-Managed Companies of 2010

Janus Capital (JNS): This company's heyday is in the past, pre-Nasdaq bubble crash. It no longer appears to be on the radar of the biggest and best asset managers.The stock has dropped more than 20% in the last year. Unless someone takes over JNS, the company will continue to flounder.

Sharper Image: Bankrupt.

Pier One (PIR - Get Report): Pier One is on the comeback trail. Management is turning this company around, and I am removing Pier One from the list of worst-managed companies. It just goes to show you how good management can turn bad management around.

>>Who Owns Pier One?: Driehaus Capital

Class of 2007

Palm (PALM): Palm has become irrelevant after being insignificant for years. It gets an automatic pardon from this list not because of management turnaround but because Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) was stupid enough to buy it for $1.2 billion.

Circuit City: Bankrupt.

Charter Communications: Bankrupt.

Six Flags: Bankrupt.

Washington Mutual: Declared insolvent and seized by the FDIC. Washington Mutual is now a part of JPMorgan (JPM), which is doing a good job cleaning up the WaMu mess.

>>Also: 4 Safest Financial Stocks

Class of 2008

Macy's (M - Get Report): Last year I wrote that I saw some glimmers of hope for Macy's. A year later, I can say that management has made great strides in fixing up this company and managing through one of the worst consumer recessions in decades. I tip my hat to the turnaround that management has engineered. The stock has risen 20% and EPS has increased 37% in the last year. Macy's is officially removed from my worst-run companies list.

>>Also: 5 Retail Stocks Set for a Comeback

General Motors: Bankrupt and soon to re-emerge as a public company. Since Government Motors will come out of bankruptcy with a clean slate, the new GM is not the same as the old GM and hence is no longer on the list.

Time Warner (TWX - Get Report): Time Warner is still paying for the sins of its fathers, despite spinning off AOL (AOL). I see some minor improvement, but the company remains on this list. Over the past year, investors in Time Warner would have earned a total of about 6% from price appreciation plus dividends.

>>Also: Top-Rated Media Stocks

Class of 2009

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD - Get Report): After I put Advanced Micro Devices on my list, I received an email from management pleading its case for why the company is turning itself around. I was skeptical then and remain so now. Earnings have declined from 2009 to 2010 and will be flat to slightly higher in 2011. Still, the stock is up over 20% in the last year, outpacing its rival Intel (INTC), which has basically gone nowhere. I am sorry, Advanced Micro Devices; you gave it the college try but need to work harder to get a passing grade.

>>Also: 5 Tech Stocks for Your Portfolio
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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AA $9.57 2.68%
AMD $1.79 1.13%
BA $131.02 0.30%
M $59.28 1.13%
PIR $9.96 0.20%

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,374.76 +23.38 0.14%
S&P 500 1,951.13 +2.27 0.12%
NASDAQ 4,733.4970 -16.4820 -0.35%

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