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5 Worst Consumer Stocks May Be Stars in 2012

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2. Avon Products (AVP) Company Profile: Avon makes beauty, fashion and home products. 2011 Stock Performance: minus 39.1%

What Went Wrong: A weak U.S. market, missteps in emerging markets, investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and having to borrow money to pay the annual dividend haven't been favorable to Avon's stock. Management was reshuffled earlier this year, and a new chief financial officer was appointed, but those changes have yet to make a difference in the shares.

Is It Worth Owning in 2012? The stock is trading at a low multiple, about 10, about a third of where Estee Lauder (EL) is trading. But despite the value and a strong brand name, I suggest staying away from this one. Given the weakness in emerging markets, the accounting concerns and international bribery claims, this could be a tough one to turn around in 2012.

1. Whirlpool (WHR) Company Profile: Whirlpool makes refrigerators, washers, dryers and other household appliances. 2011 Stock Performance: minus 43.1%

What Went Wrong: Weaker demand globally, including in emerging markets, has severely damaged Whirlpool's profitability. The company raised prices to help offset inflation in material costs, which put pressure on sales. As a result, Whirlpool announced an aggressive restructuring plan with third-quarter results that calls for 5,000 job cuts and a $500 million restructuring charge.

Is It Worth Owning in 2012? The 3.5% dividend yield is enticing, though it could be cut. With a housing market that remains limp, demand for Whirlpool appliances will continue to languish. Stay away from this stock until the housing market shows signs of improvement.

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>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 5 Worst Consumer Stocks That May Be Stars in 2012 portfolio on Stockpickr.

--Written by Lindsey Bell in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to Lindsey Bell.

Stock quotes in this article: VFC, WHR, TAP, HAS, F, AVP 

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