Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Real Money on Sept. 8, as part of the NFL Kickoff Open House. Sign up for a free trial of Real Money.
Without further ado, here is the rest of my list of dependably wretched performers with management teams that are seemingly oblivious to that fact. Please see part one of this piece for my thoughts on the first five disappointers I named -- Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), ADT (ADT), Avon (AVP), BlackBerry (BBRY) and Broadcom (BRCM).
6. Caterpillar (CAT) -- Does anyone on the board of directors care the company spent $700 million for what looks to be a phantom company? Does anyone on the board care that Caterpillar paid $700 million for ERA Mining and then wrote off $580 million of it almost immediately? Are they happy with CEO Doug Oberhelman because there's still $120 million in value there? Maybe they will give him the Congressional Medal of Chinese Investing? What's amazing is that Caterpillar is a fabulous company, but its underperformance is so palpable that you would think something has to be done here. Yet nothing will be done, because Caterpillar is only tough when it comes to labor. When you ask anyone in business about who they can't believe still has a job, it's Oberhelman. Someone has to pay the price -- might as well be the shareholders.
7. Deere (DE) -- How, during what has arguably been the greatest run-up in agricultural commodity history, has this stock done nothing? Think about that ag complex. You have prices that went through the roof. You have the U.S. government basically paying farmers exorbitant amounts to grow corn so we can burn it with a fuel that no one wants. Yet somehow the stock of this principal-farm-equipment company does nothing? In conference call after conference call, it always seems management is identifying one division or one market that has pulled the whole company's stock down. How is that possible? Deere, like Caterpillar, makes the best machinery in the world. However, it is living proof that the best machinery means absolutely nothing when it comes to the shareholders.8. Devon (DVN) -- Here's a company that decided to move as aggressively as it could out of the oil business, selling $7 billion in premier oil assets, so it could be more of a natural-gas and natural-gas-liquids play. No wonder its stock has done nothing for years and years while rival EOG (EOG) has shuttered nat-gas assets and has gone all in for oil. That's how Devon has declined 10 points, falling from $68 to $58 in the last three years, while EOG has doubled. Now Devon says it is trying to get more oily, but can it? I am waiting for Devon to go in and sell all of its nat gas assets down here, and try to buy some oil properties. At that exact moment, I would short oil until the cows came home and go all in nat gas. This company is a walking poison pill.
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