At the height of the Internet craze in 1999, Playboy stock traded at more than $33 a share.
It was all down hill from there, culminating in founder Hugh Hefner's move to take the company private last year. For many investors, owning Playboy was no joy ride, even if the company represented much more than the virtues of capitalism.
Vice has always attractedinvestors, and they have often been rewarded for it. Tobacco companies such as Altria , formerly Philip Morris of Marlboro, L&M and Virginia Slims fame — have been some of the best-performing stocks over decades (as the chart shows). Spirits conglomerates, such as Diaego,have huge market caps and millions of shareholders.
So, if sin sells — and sex sells, as the success of Internet pornography industry and its annual convention more than demonstrate — then does it follow that investing in sin makes sense?
If another Playboy — or something like it — came along, would you buy shares?