Famous Companies Traded as Penny Stocks

Learn about companies that traded as penny stocks

An animated line graph, illustrates a headline that reads, "Penny Stock Corporations (Past and Present)," and copy points that include "Blackberry (BB), Ford Motor Company (F), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), Fannie Mae (FNMA), Freddie Mac (FMCC), and SiriusXM (SIRI)."

The Balance / Julie Bang

Many massive, well-known corporations have traded as penny stocks. Despite being worth billions, some of them are trading for less than $5 per share even now.

You probably know most of these names. In fact, you may be surprised by the corporations on our list, which either have traded or are trading as penny stocks.

Key Takeaways

  • Many of today's large, well-known corporations once traded as penny stocks, and some still have had quite low stock prices.
  • A few examples of ex-penny stocks are Ford Motor Company and General Motors, Sirius XM Radio, and Blackberry.
  • Even Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) both entered the penny stock realm, after the 2008 financial crisis.

Ford Motor Company and General Motors

Ford Motor Company (F) is a surprising one, but it did in fact trade for less than $2 per share, about three months before General Motors (GM) filed for bankruptcy in June 2009. Ford is not a corporation that comes to mind when most people think about penny stocks. Nevertheless, it had slipped into penny stock territory. Since then, it returned to more appropriate valuations over $20 per share in November 2021. 

Pier 1 Imports

For the shoppers among us, Pier 1 Imports (PIR) is a name they know. What is not typically known is that shares of PIR traded as low as 10 cents on March 13, 2009, and there were several days before and after that saw this penny stock bouncing around under 50 cents. 

Of course, this was at a time when the entire business was at risk of folding, but for those gutsy investors who believed in the company, their rewards have been a four-year rise toward $25 per share, in May 2013. Unfortunately, Pier 1 Imports was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and filed for bankruptcy in 2020. Later that year, Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV) acquired the Pier 1 trademark name and assets, retained senior buyers and personnel, and relaunched the brand as an online retailer.

Sirius XM

Once trading in the $30-$40 range, Sirius XM (SIRI) satellite radio was a penny stock, with a share price below $5 from 2008 through 2017. The company has managed to keep its shares afloat over the $5 mark, briefly exceeding $7 in early 2020 and consistently above $6 since then, as of February 2022.

Xerox, RadioShack, and Eastman Kodak

Xerox (XRX) was one of those companies that slid into penny stock territory as their business plummeted in 2000. The price per share, which had reached a high of $168.48 in May 1999, tanked to under $10 per share within two years. Xerox ultimately regained health, trading in the $17 to $26 range as of March 2022. Less fortunate fates awaited a few others you may recognize, such as Radio Shack (RSHCQ) and Eastman Kodak (EKDKQ). 

The "Q" as the fifth letter of a ticker symbol typically means that the company filed for bankruptcy. "Q" shares may eventually be canceled and worth nothing.

LoJack, Second Cup, and Alcatel-Lucent

Also from the "names you know" files, companies from LoJack (LOJN) to Second Cup (SCU, well-known in Canada) to Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) previously hung around the penny stock world. Interestingly, all three have now been delisted. In 2021, LoJack was acquired and relaunched by Spireon, a vehicle intelligence company, and Foodtastic, a restaurant concept franchisor, acquired Second Cup.

Monster Beverage Corp. and BlackBerry

To contrast one another, two former penny stocks going in different directions are Monster Beverage Corporation (MNST) and BlackBerry (BB on the NYSE, formerly known as Research in Motion). 

MNST was consistently trading under $1 all the way up until 2005, but it has been roaring strongly higher and could be considered a tenbagger stock with an August 2021 high share price of $99 and 52-week range above $76 as of March 2022.

BB, on the other hand, has been struggling with massive competition from many major players in the smartphone industry. Having gone to college in the town where Research in Motion started, several personal friends landed early jobs there. They would agree that the trend of stock option millionaires has now been replaced by a few rounds of significant layoffs and several operational obstacles. As the business deals with its headwinds, they have been able to bring BB shares back up. The price briefly topped $20 per share in 2021 before settling to around $7 as of March 2022.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) descended to the penny stock realm after the 2008 financial crisis. They picked themselves up from near-zero valuations and climbed toward more respectable prices in subsequent years. They temporarily escaped penny stock territory at one point in 2014, by rising above the $5 share price level. That strength turned out to be short-lived, as their shares have fallen back below $1, as of March 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are companies satisfied with remaining as penny stocks?

While stocks are tied to the underlying business fundamentals, there isn't a direct connection. A low stock price doesn't necessarily mean that the corporation is at risk of bankruptcy. If a business is profitable, and there aren't any looming threats to its revenue model, then long-term investors might not concern themselves with short-term stock price fluctuations.

How do you find penny stock companies?

Stock screeners can help you quickly sift through the entire stock market to find investments that meet your needs. To find penny stocks, you can narrow your search to stocks that trade under $5. You can also apply any other filters that will help you find the most relevant stocks for your trading strategies.

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