5 Stocks Mr. Burns Would Own

Outdated? Niche? Villainous? For Monty, they're 'exxxxxcellent'

By Dan Burrows, InvestorPlace Feature Writer


Montgomery Burns must be happy.

We once learned that The Simpsons‘ Mr. Burns was a proud shareholder in Transatlantic Zeppelin, Amalgamated Spats, U.S. Hay, Confederated Slave Holdings and that “up-and-coming” Baltimore Opera Hat Company.

Needless to say, it’s not unfathomable to think an increasingly irrelevant American Greetings (NYSE:AM) would also have a spot in Burns’ portfolio — and a $580 million buyout offer from its CEO, representing a roughly 20% premium, would rate nothing less than “exxxxxcellent.”

Of course, the stock market is full of outdated, exceedingly niche or just plain “villainous” real-world companies that likely would’ve landed on Burns’ radar. Here’s a quick look at five of them:

American Greetings

American Greetings (NYSE:AM)As we mentioned before, American Greetings (NYSE:AM) — the greeting card company founded by a Polish immigrant in 1906 — has languished for a decade, fighting a losing battle to stay relevant in the digital age.

In the world of e-cards, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and LOLCats, the future ain’t exactly bright for printed-on-paper, delivered-by-snail-mail greeting cards.

AM’s sales have slumped 17% over the last decade, and though the stock has seen something of a renaissance in 2012, the company’s $17 share price is well off its halcyon $40-$50 days in 1998.

Pitney Bowes

Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI)Speaking of snail-mail, Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) has been the proud leader in postage meters and, uh, franking machines for 90 years.

Everyone’s familiar with the myriad woes of the U.S. Postal Service — which are more or less similar to American Greetings’. E-billing, e-cards … you name it … going paperless hasn’t been kind to PBI, which puts it just behind the 8-ball enough for Monty.

Even after adding in dividends, the stock has lost about 30% during the past 10 years.

Darling International

Darling International LogoDarling International‘s (NYSE:DAR) business sounds like something straight out of the “Treehouse of Horror.”

Darling collects grease from restaurants and the nasty bits left over at the nation’s slaughterhouses — the stuff that doesn’t even make its way into hot dogs — and turns it into animal feed and tallow.

It’s a Dickensian business, but DAR shares are up about 1,500% over the last 10 years.

Hey, even Mr. Burns wouldn’t get them all wrong.

Corrections Corporation of America

Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE:CXW)Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE:CXW) is another distasteful enterprise that has done very well by investors.

The nation’s biggest publicly traded operator of prisons has generated a total return of more than 600% over the last decade — thanks largely to a combination of cash-strapped states and the U.S. having the largest prison population in the world.


Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST)Nuts, screws, bolts, pins, anchors, rods and washers? If you need to fasten it, Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) has it.

This is a Mr. Burns pick because we figure he’d be fascinated by all this cutting-edge “fastening” technology.

The stock has more than held firm over the last decade, too, generating a total return of more than 500%, which would have helped pad Burns’ $1.3 billion net worth.

As of this writing, Dan Burrows did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2012/09/5-stocks-mr-burns-would-own-am-pbi-dar-cxw-fast/.

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