Despite the market's flattish performance last year, there were still roughly two dozen companies that managed to more than double in 2011.
I went over five of the more prolific winners earlier this week, but now it's time to turn my attention to five more publicly traded companies that made investors a whole lot of money last year.
Silicon Motion (Nasdaq: SIMO ) -- up 382%
The market's second-biggest winner -- nearly a five-bagger over the past 12 months -- is a chip company riding the hot trends of flash memory and mobile communications.
Don't let anyone tell you that semiconductors are boring.
Analysts see Silicon Motion's earnings nearly tripling for all of 2011 on a 64% top-line surge. It has also blown past Wall Street's profit targets by at least 38% over the past year. Racking up stellar growth and greatly surpassing expectations are a one-two punch for beating the market.
The biotech revealed that prostate cancer patients on the oral medication lived an average of five months longer than those who didn't take it.
Golar LNG (Nasdaq: GLNG ) -- up 196%
The LNG in Golar's name stands for "liquefied natural gas," and despite its small fleet, the speculative nature of LNG helped fuel the stock to nearly a triple.
There are valid valuation concerns when it comes to Golar LNG, but opportunities including Japan, where LNG helped fill the energy gap when some of the country's nuclear reactors were being repaired, will keep this volatile player interesting.
Oncothyreon (Nasdaq: ONTY ) -- up 133%
The biotech company has a few cancer-battling drugs in development, backed by no shortage of believers. An immunotherapy called Stimuvax is in the third and final clinical trial stage as a treatment for lung cancer patients.
The stock was already doing well in November when a Wedbush Morgan analyst issued an upbeat note and a juicy $31 price target on the shares.
Sturm, Ruger has also been blowing away analyst profit targets consistently over the past year. Yes, that was a double shot of puns in that last sentence -- and I guess "double shot" makes three.
Abner Doubelday lives
Few figured that selling firearms or alternative energy would be the ticket to market-thumping returns in 2011. The year ahead will also offer some intriguing if not unlikely victors.