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In a year when American companies piled up record amounts of cash, the worst stocks were the savers and the best gave the money back to investors with dividends and buybacks.

Companies that hoarded cash such as CareFusion Corp., Western Digital Corp. and 18 other members of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost an average 15 percent in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 40 that repurchased the most stock or offered the biggest dividends climbed 5.7 percent, led by DirecTV and Reynolds American Inc., the data show.

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