Individual Stocks That Went Bust

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Valuethinker
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:53 am

billfromct wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:49 am
As Ken Olsen, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) founder & CEO said in the early 1980s after IBM came out with the IBM PC: "Who would need a computer on their desk?" (or something like that).

Ken wanted everything on a central mini computer accessed by a "dumb" terminal. His idea of "the cloud" was 20 or 25 years early.

The rest is history.

bill
The quote is apparently taken out of context.

But DEC found it impossible to kill their existing business. Thus, when they launched a PC, it cost $20k, so it wouldn't compete with their VAX series minicomputers.

None of the minicomputer makers (Prime, Data General see "Soul of a New Machine", DEC) survived the PC era.

Valuethinker
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:55 am

abuss368 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:51 pm
Bogleheads -

In replaying to other threads, I found myself thinking back to many companies and thus stocks that went bust! Companies that can't miss at the time and were the "future". Here is a list I thought of thus far. Please add any stocks you can think of as many will probably bring back some memories.

Remember these companies:

* Pets.com
* America On Line
* Lehman Brothers
* Worldcom
* Global Crossing
* American Home Mortgage
* FBR
* Merrill Lynch
* Bear Sterns
* Washington Mutual
* Airline stocks
Nortel - was 25% of the Canadian index at one point. Went bankrupt (dot com downturn and then accounting fraud)

Thinking Machines Inc - an early parallel processing supercomputer company (maybe a middle one) and now a case study of high technology failure

Confederation Life - 2nd or 3rd largest Canadian life insurer

Did Worldcom not acquire Global Crossing?

Valuethinker
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:57 am

Wakefield1 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:40 pm
Wasn't the Blackstone financial colossus founded by an ejected principal of Lehman Brothers?
Pete Peterson and Steve Schwarzman. I can't remember if one was Lehman Brothers (before it was Shearson Lehman then later part of Amex) or Credit Suisse First Boston.

Mike Bloomberg was fired from being an equity trading partner of Salomon Bros (Citigroup now). He owns 80% of Bloomberg and is estimated to be worth c. $40bn.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:59 am

atfish wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:09 pm
LORAL Space & Communications. They were going to be the leader in satelite cell phones. I held on till it went to 0.
Iridium also went bust, I believe, and had to be rescued because of US official reliance on it.

9-11 and Afghanistan/ Iraq transformed these businesses-- all those news agencies, international agencies needing connectivity and not too fussy about the cost of it.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by lsp12 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:33 am

VA Linux -- most successful IPO in history (still?) in terms of first day pop.
http://www.billiontrader.com/post/123

Had a market cap of $13billion after 1st day of trading. Sold a few years ago for $140mm, i.e. a loss of nearly 99% not including time value of money.

I remember watching this one with incredulity. A company whose basic premise was to try to commoditize hardware via open systems software. Company's prior year revenues were south of $20mm. Who wants to own a company that is trying to turn its product into a commodity and which is going to be competing with companies orders of magnitude larger, with consequent scale economies?

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by saltycaper » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:49 am

^VA Linux was a lot of fun. Really enjoyed watching that one. I think the IBM Linux commercials came out around this time too.
Quod vitae sectabor iter?

Jeff Albertson
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by Jeff Albertson » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:05 pm

A reminder from Marketwatch.com (Paul Merriman), most stocks are losers -
The study evaluated every one-month return of every U.S. common stock traded on the New York and American stock exchanges and the Nasdaq all since 1926. In the abstract of his study, Bessembinder summarized some of his key findings:

- The best-performing 4% of listed stocks accounted for the entire lifetime dollar wealth creation of the U.S. stock market since 1926.
- Only 42.1% of all the stock returns (both monthly and for as long as a stock was listed) were even positive; by definition, the one-month T-Bill rate was always positive.
- Less than half (specifically 47.7%) of one-month stock returns were greater than the T-Bill returns for the same month.
- The reason that overall long-term positive stock returns seem so high is statistical: A stock (think Apple, Google, Microsoft) can appreciate by many thousands of percentage points, while a loser like Enron or Washington Mutual can lose only 100%.
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-p ... nk=sfmw_tw

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by ImUrHuckleberry » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:44 am

Anybody remember Genuity? Raised $2 billion in IPO and borrowed an additional $2 billion. Less than 3 years later filed bankruptcy. I torched $18k (a lot for me back then) in that stock.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by lostdog » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:13 am

jimbojones wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:35 pm
fposte wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:20 pm
For sheer as-it-happens drama, GTAT. Here is the thread on The Contrarian Investor starting with the trading halt.
This is a scarier read than any horror story.
Oh wow! This is a nightmare to read.

http://forum.thecontrarianinvestor.com/ ... 9/page-560
Vanguard Total World Equity Index - The rational portfolio

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by bgf » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:26 am

Jeff Albertson wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:05 pm
A reminder from Marketwatch.com (Paul Merriman), most stocks are losers -
The study evaluated every one-month return of every U.S. common stock traded on the New York and American stock exchanges and the Nasdaq all since 1926. In the abstract of his study, Bessembinder summarized some of his key findings:

- The best-performing 4% of listed stocks accounted for the entire lifetime dollar wealth creation of the U.S. stock market since 1926.
- Only 42.1% of all the stock returns (both monthly and for as long as a stock was listed) were even positive; by definition, the one-month T-Bill rate was always positive.
- Less than half (specifically 47.7%) of one-month stock returns were greater than the T-Bill returns for the same month.
- The reason that overall long-term positive stock returns seem so high is statistical: A stock (think Apple, Google, Microsoft) can appreciate by many thousands of percentage points, while a loser like Enron or Washington Mutual can lose only 100%.
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-p ... nk=sfmw_tw
That Bessembinder study is one of the best arguments for index investing. You guarantee investment in the few outstanding performers. Active management risks missing out on these and only investing in the poor performers, which constitute most of the market.

Many people think of passive investing backwards. They focus on investment in many underperformers. The key, however, is guaranteeing investment in ALL the outperformers. Because equity returns are asymmetric, these few greatly affect the market return.
“TE OCCIDERE POSSUNT SED TE EDERE NON POSSUNT NEFAS EST"

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by chw » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:01 am

Countrywide Mortgage- ultimately sold with some arm twisting to B of A during the financial meltdown. The founder Angelo Mozilo would later face scrutiny over his massive stock sales over the year prior to collapse....

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by nura » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:16 am

abuss368 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:51 pm
Bogleheads -

In replaying to other threads, I found myself thinking back to many companies and thus stocks that went bust! Companies that can't miss at the time and were the "future". Here is a list I thought of thus far. Please add any stocks you can think of as many will probably bring back some memories.

Remember these companies:

* Pets.com
* America On Line
* Lehman Brothers
* Worldcom
* Global Crossing
* American Home Mortgage
* FBR
* Merrill Lynch
* Bear Sterns
* Washington Mutual
* Airline stocks
* Tesla

SGM
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by SGM » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:24 am

DEC PDP11 computers once ran all the equipment I worked with at big oil back in the early 1980s. If one of the important analyzers didn't work it cost the big oil company $60,000 an hour in flared product which was a lot of money in those days. It still sounds like pretty big money to me now.

I had breakfast yesterday with a former lower level DEC manager. He said that the company reported a lot of sales of computers because of incentives to their largest buyers and middlemen. However, the computers sat in storage and the market had dried up although the books showed a profit. Upper management gave themselves stock incentives and used stock buybacks to raise the price of the stock and sold the stock at a large profit before DEC went downhill. He later worked for Sun and suddenly had his salary cut in half. He is a very intelligent, hard working and talented guy with great credentials, but upper management was secretive and looked to benefit themselves first.

One lesson is to not have too much of your funds in the company that you work for. My friend is trying to generalize his personal experience to the current total market which I think is too much of a stretch. DEC was in desperate straights.


I still have some individual stocks with large capital gains from back in the 1980s and have slowly been diversifying into index funds. If you think you are going to want to relax and stop following individual companies sell them off before the capital gains get too large unless you want to donate them or leave them to your offspring. Selling them later to diversify can be difficult because of the taxes.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by abuss368 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:26 am

lostdog wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:13 am
jimbojones wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:35 pm
fposte wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:20 pm
For sheer as-it-happens drama, GTAT. Here is the thread on The Contrarian Investor starting with the trading halt.
This is a scarier read than any horror story.
Oh wow! This is a nightmare to read.

http://forum.thecontrarianinvestor.com/ ... 9/page-560
That is really sad and unfortunately to read.

Thank you Jack Bogle for Vanguard and low cost and diversified indexing.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:38 am

abuss368 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:54 pm
All correct (I invited in many of them)! In terms fo bust, I am simply referring o stocks that declined, companies that went of of business, and so forth. A simple list to show the risk of investing in individual stocks.
YBTVA (my former employer). Went Chapter 11 in 2009, existing stock became worthless. I still hold 2,500 shares of worthless company stock, can't get rid of it.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by minesweep » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:00 pm

Levitz Furniture was a 100 year-old business that went belly up.

And Poloroid Corp.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by technovelist » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:54 pm

Va Linux:

"On one day in December of 1999, VA Linux, a company with just 200 employees, shattered the record for a single day IPO. The stock, initially priced at $30, closed at $239, a 700 percent run-up.

The company's 37-year-old chief executive became an instant billionaire -- on paper. Several others were pushing close to the b-word, and many more went home that night multimillionaires. "

http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/ ... 962977.php

I know one of the "multimillionaires". I told him to sell enough shares to be financially independent.

He never did, and now he is asking for tips on his blog.
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by technovelist » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:55 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:38 am
abuss368 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:54 pm
All correct (I invited in many of them)! In terms fo bust, I am simply referring o stocks that declined, companies that went of of business, and so forth. A simple list to show the risk of investing in individual stocks.
YBTVA (my former employer). Went Chapter 11 in 2009, existing stock became worthless. I still hold 2,500 shares of worthless company stock, can't get rid of it.
Did you ever get the tax writeoff?
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by technovelist » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:55 pm

lsp12 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:33 am
VA Linux -- most successful IPO in history (still?) in terms of first day pop.
http://www.billiontrader.com/post/123

Had a market cap of $13billion after 1st day of trading. Sold a few years ago for $140mm, i.e. a loss of nearly 99% not including time value of money.

I remember watching this one with incredulity. A company whose basic premise was to try to commoditize hardware via open systems software. Company's prior year revenues were south of $20mm. Who wants to own a company that is trying to turn its product into a commodity and which is going to be competing with companies orders of magnitude larger, with consequent scale economies?
Beat me to it. :sharebeer
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:12 pm

technovelist wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:55 pm
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:38 am
abuss368 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:54 pm
All correct (I invited in many of them)! In terms fo bust, I am simply referring o stocks that declined, companies that went of of business, and so forth. A simple list to show the risk of investing in individual stocks.
YBTVA (my former employer). Went Chapter 11 in 2009, existing stock became worthless. I still hold 2,500 shares of worthless company stock, can't get rid of it.
Did you ever get the tax writeoff?
Near as I can determine, in order to take the write-off, I would have to file an amended return for 2009, and it’s not worth the trouble.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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topper1296
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by topper1296 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:23 pm

Were these stocks part of an index at some point?

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by EyeYield » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:24 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:21 pm
EyeYield wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:16 pm
One of the darlings of Wall Street for decades, the company that everybody had to own, Polaroid.
Many of their patents under the name Polaroid are still licensed today.
I owned it. It cured me of buying stocks.
I almost bought some too, but I think I went with IBM at the time, which may be added to this list in due time.
I sold off 25% of IBM four years ago to buy my very first index fund, but am still letting the rest ride. :oops:

Two more I was considering were Eastern and Pan Am airlines; add two more to the list. My mom worked for both companies.

And now for the most beneficial advice I have ever received from a broker.
My mom used to take me to her broker to ask advice about individual stocks, but we always bought directly from the company thru DRIP's.
When I asked the broker what his opinion was between Eastern and Pan Am, he said, " why don't you just buy the company that makes planes for both of them, Boeing". It's been good so far.
"The stock market is a giant distraction from the business of investing." - Jack Bogle

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by Wakefield1 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:32 pm

Does anyone remember Arlington Trust or Clarendon Trust? I think they were part of "Financial General Bankshares"?
Became "First American Bank" then got closed down because of some kind of association with or being bought out by a Middle Eastern bank? I think the Middle Eastern bank was called "BCCI" and as I remember Clark Clifford was somehow involved with these banks ::::::: [Arlington Trust in the County of Arlington Virginia or the previous Alexandria County]
Arlington Trust used to be one of Arlington County's most revered and venerable businesses,had an exhibit of classical Silver Dollars in the lobby of its flagship branch near the old County Courthouse.
At least one location that used to be Arlington Trust,then First American Bank became First Union,then Wachovia and now is Wells Fargo.
Last edited by Wakefield1 on Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by technovelist » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:34 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:12 pm
technovelist wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:55 pm
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:38 am
abuss368 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:54 pm
All correct (I invited in many of them)! In terms fo bust, I am simply referring o stocks that declined, companies that went of of business, and so forth. A simple list to show the risk of investing in individual stocks.
YBTVA (my former employer). Went Chapter 11 in 2009, existing stock became worthless. I still hold 2,500 shares of worthless company stock, can't get rid of it.
Did you ever get the tax writeoff?
Near as I can determine, in order to take the write-off, I would have to file an amended return for 2009, and it’s not worth the trouble.
I didn't realize it was that much trouble. Thanks for the information.
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:37 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:00 am
Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:57 pm
Don't you forget Juniper Networks.
That one was on a rocket and outperforming Cisco at one time.
I actually own Juniper today. It's just about doubled since I bought it, and pays a small dividend.
BH87

monsterid
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by monsterid » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Radio Shack
Circuit City

cherijoh
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by cherijoh » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:59 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:51 pm
Bogleheads -

In replaying to other threads, I found myself thinking back to many companies and thus stocks that went bust! Companies that can't miss at the time and were the "future". Here is a list I thought of thus far. Please add any stocks you can think of as many will probably bring back some memories.

Remember these companies:

* Pets.com
* America On Line
* Lehman Brothers
* Worldcom
* Global Crossing
* American Home Mortgage
* FBR
* Merrill Lynch
* Bear Sterns
* Washington Mutual
* Airline stocks
Are you looking for companies that literally went bust or ones that got bought out?

AOL was purchased by Verizon in 2015 for $4.4 Billion.

Merrill Lynch is still alive and kicking - they are the custodian of my 401k plan. They were purchased by Bank of America in 2008 but still operate as Merrill Lynch.
HenrySouthernCal wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:34 pm
Here are just some additional big names (countless small names in 2000-2008 period):
Country Wide Financial
Lucent Technology
Nortel
Countrywide didn't actually go bust - it was also purchased by Bank of America in 2008. BofA is big here in Charlotte and from what I recall they hadn't been involved in the subprime mortgage market before they bought Countrywide. It was Countrywide loans that got them in hot water with the regulators. :oops:
Last edited by cherijoh on Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

lernd
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by lernd » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:00 pm

Don't know if someone else already mentioned (or cited the article) but World Com and Tyco come to mind...

The Biggest Stock Scams of All Time:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/00/100900.asp

bhsince87
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:18 pm

lernd wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:00 pm
Don't know if someone else already mentioned (or cited the article) but World Com and Tyco come to mind...

The Biggest Stock Scams of All Time:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/00/100900.asp
I was getting ready to mention Tyco. I actually worked there at the time, and became a poster child for why you should diversify away from owning your employers stock. I lost a bunch of money when the stock crashed, and lost my job a few months later.

And I actually met Dennis Koslowski a few times, shook his hand, and looked him in the eye. I was a true believer! Epic fail on my part... :oops:
BH87

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:47 pm

Wakefield1 wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:32 pm
Does anyone remember Arlington Trust or Clarendon Trust? I think they were part of "Financial General Bankshares"?
Became "First American Bank" then got closed down because of some kind of association with or being bought out by a Middle Eastern bank? I think the Middle Eastern bank was called "BCCI" and as I remember Clark Clifford was somehow involved with these banks ::::::: [Arlington Trust in the County of Arlington Virginia or the previous Alexandria County]
Arlington Trust used to be one of Arlington County's most revered and venerable businesses,had an exhibit of classical Silver Dollars in the lobby of its flagship branch near the old County Courthouse.
At least one location that used to be Arlington Trust,then First American Bank became First Union,then Wachovia and now is Wells Fargo.
I lived in Arlington in the 1970s and in Fairfax County during the 1980s and 1990s. I had a checking account at Arlington Trust and its successor institutions (First American Bank and First Union Bank) until late 2000. During the 2000s, First Union merged with Wachovia Bank which, in turn, was purchased by Wells Fargo. Clark Clifford was Chairman of First American from 1982 to 1991 when the BCCI scandal forced his resignation. In no sense of the word did Arlington Trust go bust. First American fell apart due to the BCCI scandal and a bunch of bad mortgage loans. It was the largest bank in the DC metro area when First Union took over.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:49 pm

As an indexer, I've owned every stock mentioned in this thread.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by MichaelRpdx » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:56 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:10 pm
Wang Laboratories, Compaq, Pr1me, Bendix, NCR, Amdahl. I think. Some of them might have gotten merged into companies that still exist, so the stocks might have been exchanged for stocks that have some value, though.
Wang was acquired by Gentronics, headquartered in Amsterdam and still going strong.
Compaq merged with was acquired by HP.
Prime was acquired by PTC
Bendix had a colorful history of corporate raiding, eventually absorbed by (now) AlliedSignal, aka Honeywell.
NCR still in business and is an S&P 400 corp. Morningstar shows a market cap of 4.1Bil
Amdahl even after being purchased by Fujitsu, became defunct.
Last edited by MichaelRpdx on Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by ikowik » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:00 pm

HenrySouthernCal wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:34 pm
Here are just some additional big names (countless small names in 2000-2008 period):
Country Wide Financial
Lucent Technology
Nortel
I remember the last two. Dogs!! But they were the ones that convinced me to turn away
from individual stocks and become an index investor. Good dogs!

CurlyDave
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by CurlyDave » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:53 pm

Who remembers W.T. Grant?

Used to be a department store that competed with Woolworth.

I still have a battery charger that has their name on it. They went bankrupt in 1976, and the fool thing still works.

Loon11
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by Loon11 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:41 pm

Bombay
Nokia (still hoping it'll recover)

johnra
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by johnra » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:11 am

Northwest Airlines (acquired by Delta)

finite_difference
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by finite_difference » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:17 am

Two stocks I bought during the 2008 financial crisis went to 0 and I lost it all:

* Ambac
* HSBC (I think, need to check this one.)

See also: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... _Recession
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finite_difference
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by finite_difference » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:23 am

saltycaper wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:50 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:43 pm
CppCoder wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:18 pm
  • Sun acquired by Oracle in 2010 for $5.6B
Heh. At the height of the tech boom, the market cap for SUNW was over $160 billion.
Still, didn’t quite go bust! Another tech company that has fallen hard recently is RIM/BlackBerry.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by lawman3966 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:40 am

VISX had many of us seeing red in early 2000s.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:40 am

finite_difference wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:17 am
Two stocks I bought during the 2008 financial crisis went to 0 and I lost it all:

* Ambac
* HSBC (I think, need to check this one.)

See also: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... _Recession
I don't know if Ambac actually went bust, but the bailout diluted shareholders massively. MBIA was the other.

HSBC was one of the world's largest banks. Still is. If you held RBS or HBOS (now Lloyd's) you got hugely diluted. UK government still owns 70% of the former.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:41 am

ikowik wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:00 pm
HenrySouthernCal wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:34 pm
Here are just some additional big names (countless small names in 2000-2008 period):
Country Wide Financial
Lucent Technology
Nortel
I remember the last two. Dogs!! But they were the ones that convinced me to turn away
from individual stocks and become an index investor. Good dogs!
Lucent merged with Alcatel

Nortel went broke - I shall remember that one for a long time.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by finite_difference » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:17 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:40 am
finite_difference wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:17 am
Two stocks I bought during the 2008 financial crisis went to 0 and I lost it all:

* Ambac
* HSBC (I think, need to check this one.)

See also: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... _Recession
I don't know if Ambac actually went bust, but the bailout diluted shareholders massively. MBIA was the other.

HSBC was one of the world's largest banks. Still is. If you held RBS or HBOS (now Lloyd's) you got hugely diluted. UK government still owns 70% of the former.
The ticker was ABK/ABKFQ. They filed bankruptcy and I lost everything, which was about $300-400. I think I got a letter at some point requesting information if I wanted to try to get some money back as part of the Chapter 11.. but it was like pennies so I didn’t even bother.

I never sold and I think it just disappeared from my portfolio page.

Checking things over I think I am mis-remembering that I bought HSBC. HSBC did get hit really bad in the 2008-2009 recession though, and ending up receiving massive fines/stopping US lending.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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GerryL
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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by GerryL » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:29 pm

When presenting the Financial Beginnings "Fundamentals of Investing" module to high school classes, I include a slide that uses Pets.com as a cautionary tale to introduce the pitfalls of investing in individual companies. It's got a familiar context: dotcom boom, which birthed companies they've actually heard of. It's got glitz: Super Bowl ad (one kid in my recent class had even heard of the company in that context). And it has a useful graphic: annoying sock puppet dog.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by Slowtraveler » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:16 pm

When I started investing I got into gas since it'd just dropped in price and I didn't expect the extended gas price drop.

Vnr at about 15, went up to 17 then down to 13. I sold. Then up to 15, I bought again, then to 17. I sold, freaked out and happy I broke even. Went bankrupt a few years later.

Funny the name is Vanguard..

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by limeyx » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:20 am

CppCoder wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:18 pm
I don't think all these went bust; some were swallowed up (possibly on their way to going bust). But, they were major companies that are gone today:
  • DEC
  • Sun
  • SGI
  • Cray Computer (It's name is back now, but it's not the original company...interesting story for those that like this sort of thing)
  • Circuit City
Sun sadly bought by Oracle

* Blockbuster went out, right ? I seem to remember going there in the old days !

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by limeyx » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:21 am

abuss368 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:00 am
Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:57 pm
Don't you forget Juniper Networks.
That one was on a rocket and outperforming Cisco at one time.
Pretty sure they are still around and doing fine, no ?

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by limeyx » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:23 am

saltycaper wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:49 am
^VA Linux was a lot of fun. Really enjoyed watching that one. I think the IBM Linux commercials came out around this time too.
What about SCO systems (final resting place Caldera ?) Who decided to make money by suing their customers and for some (unfathomable) reason picked IBM and lost ... very very badly

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:35 am

limeyx wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:23 am
saltycaper wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:49 am
^VA Linux was a lot of fun. Really enjoyed watching that one. I think the IBM Linux commercials came out around this time too.
What about SCO systems (final resting place Caldera ?) Who decided to make money by suing their customers and for some (unfathomable) reason picked IBM and lost ... very very badly
And it made legal history.

The story was that SCO argued it had prior rights to what Linus Torvald had used in creating LInux. I.e. that linux was not true open source code.

SCO's (Santa Cruz Online's) core business went away. But it pursued litigation against major Linux (& UNIX?) providers, IBM being the biggest.

It was really an effort to put deep freeze on the only open source OS. Remember Android too is a linux descendant. It was another Microsoft strategy to kill all opposition to Windows. At that point, Apple was an almost irrelevancy (and Microsoft made money from selling Office for Mac).

What happened is Microsoft took a stake in SCO and was effectively funding the litigation. The idea was it would put a chill over any IBM client agreeing to a Linux-based Solution. IBM & HP had to give their customers blanket guarantees to assume losses if litigation successful.

Remember the internal motto at Microsoft in Balmer's heyday "Windows everywhere".

The CEO of SCO received death threats. And an open source file was built up of documents, and interested parties (basically the whole Linux community) could make additions to that, and review the documents. They did a vast amount of "free work" on behalf of the defence.

That was apparently new in legal circles?

Eventually the suit lapsed-- can't recall whether the judge threw it out or what happened.

It was a precursor to what has become a common tech industry strategy. Acquire Intellectual Property and threaten to sue the heck out of any startup or new entrant that could possibly be a competitor some day. Litigation funding is now a thing-- there are hedge funds that raise money to to it (uncorrelated asset, right?).

The whole question of IP, particularly in the USA, is a mess, and has, I understand, become a significant barrier to innovation. All the big tech companies have been buying portfolios of patents from defunct companies like Nortel, and then sitting on them with the threat of litigation against all comers.

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by snackdog » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:10 am

I'm not sure this thread is actionable unless someone has found a way to identify companies which will go bust. There are certainly some large American retailers currently circling the drain these days.

You can google the topic and find many interesting lists of major bankruptcies, like this -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... d_scandals

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Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

Post by abuss368 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:43 am

limeyx wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:21 am
abuss368 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:00 am
Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:57 pm
Don't you forget Juniper Networks.
That one was on a rocket and outperforming Cisco at one time.
Pretty sure they are still around and doing fine, no ?
Not sure. Since we have not invested in individual stocks in a decade I stopped following.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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