5 Stocks Under $10 Worth Buying

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

I've been singling out attractive opportunities in low-priced stocks since my original "10 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.

 Company

Feb. 15, 2013

March 13, 2009

Gain

Sirius XM Radio

$3.15

$0.198

1,491%

Bare Escentuals*

$18.20

$3.66

397%

Focus Media 

$25.46

$5.74

344%

Geron 

$1.52

$4.36

(65%)

Ford 

$13.02

$2.19

495%

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

The average gain of 532% in four years is pretty remarkable.

Sirius XM has been the top dog, emerging as a media giant with improving margins and status. Focus Media continues to be a marketing force in China. Geron has been the lone disappointment, but that's the risk in betting on young biotech companies. Ford has roared back as consumers replace their old cars.

Let's go over this month's picks.

WisdomTree Investments (NASDAQ: WETF  ) -- $9.06
It's hard to get excited about the mutual fund industry. Exchange-traded funds have exploded in popularity, giving investors and speculators alike the ability to buy into a basket of stocks that price continually throughout the trading day. With ETFs typically charging lower management fees than traditional mutual funds, many brokerage firms have expanded the number of ETFs that they offer without any brokerage commissions.

WisdomTree is the only pure play in this booming investment niche. Assets under management have popped 50% over the past year to $18.3 billion. Capital appreciation and a whopping $4.7 billion in net inflows in 2012 have grown its asset base from $12.2 billion at the beginning of last year.

Its emphasis on exotic offerings has helped set itself apart, highlighted by its WisdomTree Emerging Markets Equity Income vehicle that has exploded to $5.3 billion in assets.

The stock isn't exactly cheap, but its heady growth and exclusivity as the only pure play in the ETF space make it one of the few financial services providers with ample room to run.

Active Network  (NYSE: ACTV  ) -- $5.37
Shares of Active Network are trading 9% higher since being singled out in this column late last year, and that's after getting tripped up on the heels of a poorly received quarterly report last week.

The top dog in online registrations for triathlons, marathons, and other endurance events is still not profitable, but it is growing at a healthy clip. Revenue climbed 23% in its latest quarter and 24% for all of 2012.

Getting registrants to pay more has been a major driver, but eventually the Active.com parent will have to accelerate its number of registrations.

Growth will slow in 2013, but Active Network still expects revenue to climb 12% to 15% this year. It also sees its net loss narrowing. As more people make the switch to active lifestyles and embrace the social merits of 5K runs and half-marathons, Active.com will be a major beneficiary.

Capstone Turbine (NASDAQ: CPST  ) -- $1.04
Capstone is another low-priced stock where deficits are narrowing. The maker of co-generation turbines posted a loss of $0.01 a share in last week's quarterly report, and analysts see Capstone breaking even later this year.

The popularity of Capstone's turbines that run on many different fuel types is strong. Revenue is growing, gross margins are improving, and there's a healthy backlog of $136.5 million in orders.

InterMune (NASDAQ: ITMN  ) -- $9.16
Young biotechs can be lottery tickets, but InterMune -- a company keying in on treatments in pulmonology and orphan fibrotic diseases -- is already generating revenue with a unique product.

InterMune's pirfenidone is the only medicine approved for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in the world, clearing regulatory hurdles in Europe and Canada. It's currently in the third and final phase of clinical trials domestically.

Yes, InterMune is losing money and shareholders were diluted as it raised more money last month. However, revenue should more than double this year, and the outlook for stateside approval is encouraging.

InterMune will report its latest quarterly results on Thursday afternoon.

Jamba (NASDAQ: JMBA  ) -- $2.66
The 788-unit Jamba Juice smoothie chain is positioned to post its first annual profit this year, and it's already becoming a market darling. The stock soared 71% higher last year, and it's already trading 19% higher so far in 2013.

Store and product expansion, new online promotional partners, and consumers craving healthy beverages flocking to Jamba and its army of blenders are driving the stock's success.

Cynics probably stayed away when coffee shops and burger joints began adding smoothies to their menus, but that was a mistake. The beverage's mainstream push has actually educated consumers, who are now heading out to Jamba, where more than two or three varieties are available. As the company is evolving into a true wellness brand, it's not just the blenders turning quickly at Jamba.

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.

More stocks that are thinking big
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Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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 February 19, 2013, at 8:09 PM, jmalt1 wrote:

    CPST Has been nothing but a story stock for years. Management has talked about all these great things they are doing and never deliver to the bottom line. I owned it in the past and will avoid it in the future!

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2013, at 2:10 AM, lanceim59 wrote:

    I agree with the previous post. CPST has the worst management in their industry. Even if they break even this year, the CEO will find a way screw things up. The only way CPST will make anyone money is if you short the stock.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2013, at 12:26 PM, chastenruin wrote:

    S - Sprint should be on this list.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 10:40 AM, kthor wrote:

    CPST good product, inept management! avoid

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