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Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. and Fleming Cos., the Oklahoma City, Okla., grocery wholesaler that supplies Jubilee Foods stores, are among 20 companies with lackluster returns that have been included on a list of the nation's worst stocks by the Council of Institutional Investors.

The companies on the list often are targeted by large shareholders, who try to prod the firms into making management or board changes that they hope will boost the price of their stock.

The council, which includes 100 union, public and corporate pension funds, had members submit shareholder resolutions at nine of the 20 firms on last year's list. Six of the proposals were withdrawn after productive discussions with the companies.

The shareholder proposals at this year's targeted companies are expected to include requests that all board members be elected at one time, that poison-pill anti-takeover defenses be dismantled, and that the board be made up of mostly of independent directors.

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