Famous Companies Traded as Penny Stocks

Learn about companies that traded as penny stocks

Penny stock corporations (past and present) include Blackberry (BB), Ford Motor Company (F), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), Fannie Mae (FNMA), Freddie Mac (FMCC), and SiriusXM (SIRI).

Image by Julie Bang © The Balance 2020

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) are both in the penny stock realm and have been since 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, right around the time General Motors (GM) was going bankrupt. 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 has returned to more appropriate valuations over $13 per share. 

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 2013. Today, PIR trades around $13.50, which values the corporation at $1.2 billion.

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. In the past few years, the company has managed to keep its shares afloat over the $5 mark, briefly exceeding $7 in early 2020.

Xerox, RadioShack, and Eastman Kodak

Xerox (XRX) was one of those companies that slid into penny stock territory as their business faded. Similar fates awaited a few others you may recognize, such as Radio Shack (RSHCQ) and Eastman Kodak (EKDKQ), among others. 

The "Q" as the fifth letter of a ticker symbol means that the company went bankrupt. "Q" shares are eventually 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) all hang around the penny stock world. In fact, all of their shares were trading in the $3 to $4 range at the time of this report.

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 has been roaring strongly higher since beginning trading publicly in 2002 and now could be considered a tenbagger stock.

BBRY, 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 BBRY shares back up to $10 and beyond.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) are both in the penny stock realm and have been since the 2008 financial crisis. While picking themselves up from near-zero valuations, they have both climbed toward more respectable prices in the last few years. In fact, 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 toward $2.50.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are companies satisfied remaining a penny stock?

While stocks are tied to the underlying business fundamentals, these aren't direct connections. A low stock price doesn't necessarily mean that the business 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 may 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'll help you find the most relevant stocks for your trading strategies.