5 Stocks Under $10 Worth Buying

If you've got 10 bucks, I have some stock ideas for you.

I've been singling out attractive opportunities in low-priced stocks since my original "5 Stocks Under $10" column 10 years ago, and I've seen plenty of stocks with pocket change prices generate incredible gains.

There are risks, and they are readily apparent given the recent volatility. There are often good reasons for stocks to be ignored or beaten down. However, a market rally can work wonders for the unloved with positive catalysts in their pockets.

Let's go over my five picks from March 2009 -- when low-priced stocks bottomed out -- to prove my point.


Sept. 14, 2012

March 13, 2009


Sirius XM Radio $2.47 $0.198 1,147%
Bare Escentuals* $18.20 $3.66 397%
Focus Media $24.29 $5.74 323%
Geron $1.41 $4.36 (68%)
Ford $10.53 $2.19 381%

*Bare Escentuals was acquired for $18.20 a share in 2010.

The average gain of 436% in a little more than three years is remarkable.

Let's go over this month's picks.

Velti (Nasdaq: VELT  ) -- $8.44
Smartphone usage is booming, and that's good news for Velti.

The Dublin-based provider of mobile marketing and advertising technology saw its stock soar 21% last week, but it's still well off its springtime highs in the low teens.

Velti is growing too fast to be trading this cheap.

Analysts see revenue and earnings growing 55% and 46% this year, followed by 32% and 33% spurts, respectively, come 2013. Despite the heady projected growth, Velit shares are fetching just 12 times this year's projected profitability and just nine times next year's mark. (Nasdaq: SPRT  ) -- $4.07 barreled toward a fresh 52-week high last week, but it still has room to run.

The company provides live online tech support to consumers and small businesses. It also partners with retailers and anti-virus to provide remote support.

There may be plenty of companies entangled in this competitive niche, but is still finding ways to deliver impressive growth. Wall Street's banking on 35% top-line growth this year, with revenue climbing 27% next year. Yes, isn't profitable, but it's getting there. The Web-savvy service provider has posted narrower-than-expected losses in three of the past four quarters, and analysts see turning profitable next year.

ZAGG (Nasdaq: ZAGG  ) -- $8.45
When will ZAGG get it right? The company behind the invisibleSHIELD screen protector for smartphones and tablets has fallen back into the single digits, and last month a margin call led to the resignation of its CEO.

On the surface, ZAGG's business is holding up. Revenue soared 59% in its latest quarter with profitability per share surging 80%. The maker of third-party accessories even revised its guidance higher.

It wasn't enough. Nothing seems to be enough to satisfy the skeptics that feel that its suite of products is too susceptible to lower-priced competitors.

There's an opportunistic nibble to be taken here. A day after the iPhone 5 was introduced, ZAGG began promoting invisibleSHIELD Extreme for the new smartphone. Going with a larger screen for the iPhone 5 is going to pay off for companies making accessories for the device since owners of older generations will need new cases, screen protectors, and even new dock adapters.

LeapFrog Enterprises (NYSE: LF  ) -- $9.00
LeapFrog is the leading maker of education electronics, and its stock has fallen back into the single digits on the recent wave of cheap tablets.

Earlier this month it was Toys R Us introducing its own $149 kid-friendly tablet. Toys R Us may or may not fare well with the tablet, but there's still a market for LeapFrog's much cheaper LeapPad line that may be billed as a tablet. though it's a far more closed and secure learning toy than the "tablet" tag would seem to suggest.

LeapFrog is now fetching just 11 times next year's estimates earnings, and the pros have been historically conservative with the cutting-edge learning-toy maker. LeapFrog has blasted through Wall Street's profit targets with ease over the past year.

Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW  ) -- $8.24
Shares of the parent company of job listings website have been buoyant since its CEO said that the company wouldn't be opposed to being acquired back in February.

Buying a stock solely for the potential of a buyout premium is a dangerous game, but Monster's attractive even if there isn't a deal. Yes, revenue growth has been nonexistent lately, but at least the company is still very profitable.

Five for the road
These five stocks aren't trading in the single digits by accident. If I'm right about the catalysts, though, they may not be trading in the single digits for too much longer.

Finding promising stocks while they're still cutting their baby teeth is at the heart of the Rule Breakers newsletter that I write for. You can check it out for free this month with a 30-day trial subscription. There are roughly a half dozen active stock recommendations in the growth stock research service trading for less than $10 at the moment. Check those out, and I'll be back with more on the third Monday of next month.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford Motor. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of LeapFrog Enterprises and Ford Motor. Motley Fool newsletter services have also recommended creating a synthetic long position in Ford Motor. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Ford. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2012, at 7:00 PM, jaytee001 wrote:

    CAUTION: Past performance by Motley Fools may look impressive when the selected date is from a LOW during the financial crisis of 2009 to the present. BUT look at a chart on how these stocks performed over the last 5 years, 2 years, 1 year and 6 months. Over the last 2 years, Ford (F), is DOWN

    more 10% and Focus Media (FMCN) is up less than 10%. Meanwhile for comparison, 3X leveraged Index ETF such as the S&P 500 (UPRO) & the NASDAQ (TQQQ) has appreciated around 100% in the past 2 years.

    LESSON LEARNED: Performance between 2 selected dates is not meaningful. More meaningful is the

    trend (moving average) of a stock.

    Over long term, Leveraged Index ETF’s (such as TQQQ, UPRO, etc.) out-perform most stocks including

    popular high growth stocks like AAPL, GOOG, AZO, DTLR, etc.

    This article illustrates how selected statistics can be used to dramatize the performance of

    stocks when in reality the performance is mediocre and no better than the stock indexes which

    should be used for comparison..

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