On Monday, I presented half of the 10 stocks that I have deemed to be the least influential of 2013. Without further ado, here are the remaining five inconsequent names to round out that list.
TiVo (TIVO) -- Time has passed by the original time-shifting pioneer. The name still "rings a bell" to the man on the street, but once competitors figured out that the innovation here was putting a usable interface on a giant hard drive, every piece of consumer hardware could include video storage and replay. Meanwhile, the original broadband substitute, Netflix (NFLX), bided its time with "sneaker net" -- the hand-delivery of DVDs -- until broadband came to it. Netflix is now synonymous with time-shifting, and TiVo will probably eventually go the way of WebTV. Remember that one?
The chart below stacks TiVo's performance against that of Netflix.
Nokia (NOK) -- Nokia was so hot in the 1990s, it forced Wall Street to learn what an "Oy" was -- as in Nokia Oy, the corporate form -- and to locate Espoo, Finland on a map. The company was the poster child for the corporate pivot, when it emerged from the rubber boot and TV business to dominate the mobile phone industry. Sadly, now Nokia is the poster child for gaining world dominance, then losing it. When is the last time a Nokia product has mattered? The flip phone, perhaps.
The stock performance has been so bad, we don't even need to compare with anything.
Radio Shack (RSH) -- Radio Shack is so down and out, even The Onion mocks them regularly. Radio Shack has moved beyond a simple business crisis into an existential crisis, desperately seeking its raison d'être. The company managed to use the mobile-phone revolution to extend its life beyond selling cables and transistors but, in the meantime, competitors like Best Buy (BBY) have completely redefined the consumer-electronics-purchasing experience. Perhaps Radio Shack could have become Fry's Electronics if it had tried hard enough.
AOL (AOL) -- Real Money always gives credit where it is due: In the last 18 months, AOL stock has rallied nicely, enough so that it may ultimately be able to rescue itself from irrelevance. This once-mighty Internet leader, which executed one of the most audacious takeovers of all time -- buying Time Warner (TWX) in order to get some E to go with its P -- has been reduced to acquiring its way back into the game. Some seemingly smart deals have been busts. (Who uses MapQuest anymore?) But The Huffington Post deal has given it some visibility.
Here's the AOL chart against Google (GOOG).
Vonage (VG) -- Another short-term darling from the second wave of Internet companies that went public in the mid-00s, Vonage -- even at a $600 million market capitalization -- still struggles to justify its existence. I never understood the appeal of paying $10 a month for "Internet" calling when Skype would charge me $30 a year. Vonage has lived off of the business model of finding people that don't know better -- but even those who want the handset interface will soon discover MagicJack at $20 a year.