The 10 Worst Stocks of the Bull Market

You had to be very unlucky to lose money in stocks over the past five years.

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You had to be very unlucky to lose money in stocks over the past five years. But it was possible.

Despite a bull market that celebrated its fifth birthday on March 9, prices of some stocks are substantially lower today than they were at the bottom of the bear market. That's a pretty remarkable feat, given that so many stocks were priced for economic oblivion in early 2009.

We asked Morningstar to cull its universe of stocks and give us the "nightmare portfolio" — the ten stocks that have lost the most over the past five years, even as broad market indexes have risen 200% or more. The stocks are ranked by largest negative total returns from March 9, 2009, through February 21, 2014. We limited the list to companies based in the U.S. and to those with market capitalizations today of at least $1 billion.

Of course, as painful as these stocks' losses are to investors, the shares still are worth something. The true biggest-losers list would have been all of the stocks that went to zero in the financial crisis or its aftermath and no longer trade. Think Lehman Brothers.

(Bull-market returns are through February 21, but share prices and related ratios are as of March 5. Price-earnings ratios are based on estimated 2014 calendar year earnings, unless otherwise indicated.)

Tom Petruno
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Petruno, a former financial columnist for the Los Angeles Times, is an independent investor, writer and consultant. He lives in L.A.