As much as I love my annual rite of singling out 10 low-priced stocks, I guess I should preface these next few picks with the obvious disclaimers:
- Stocks that trade in the single digits are often there for a reason.
- Broken companies often don't fix themselves.
- Don't even think of diving in without doing a little homework.
That said, last week I introduced the first five picks under $10. Let's take a look at my five other ideas (prices are as of this writing).
1. LookSmart (Nasdaq: LOOK ) - $5.29
There's a vast underbelly of hungry paid-search players beneath the better-known major portals. One of these companies is LookSmart. The company's been at it for a long time. It might not currently be profitable, but it's growing quickly.
In the third quarter of 2006, it generated 100 million leads for its advertisers, a 41% surge over the prior year's quarter. Revenue climbed 33%, meaning that the company was charging less for each clickthrough.
Generating an average of $0.10 per click is a pittance compared with its larger rivals. However, that may make LookSmart that much more attractive to a hungry giant. The company is also cash-rich, packing $1.70 a share. Beyond paid search, LookSmart also owns the Furl.net online bookmarking site.
2. CNET (Nasdaq: CNET ) - $8.95
You've probably been to a CNET site recently. Maybe it was TV.com, to check up on how fellow Lost fans are interpreting last night's show. Maybe it was that free photo utility you got from Download.com. From Gamespot to MP3.com, CNET casts a wide net over the wired world.
This past quarter, CNET was attracting 136 million unique visitors a month. I spoke to the company's new CEO last month and liked what I heard. Its strategy for organic growth, aided with accretive acquisitions, is sound. Now it just needs the market to pay attention.
3. SkillSoft (Nasdaq: SKIL ) - $7.19
When you hear about virtual classrooms, you probably think of postsecondary schools in cyberspace, like the University of Phoenix. For SkillSoft, the real joys of e-learning lie in the corporate and governmental realms. Whether it's the Air Force or the Subway sandwich chain, SkillSoft is there to enable remote vocational training.
SkillSoft recently turned a profit, which makes it that much more appealing to investors.
4. TASER (Nasdaq: TASR ) - $8.03
The only thing more stunning than TASER's stun guns is the general market apathy regarding the next-generation weaponry leader. TASER is profitable, dynamic company. Is it riddled with its share of controversy? You bet. It made for a colorful Dueling Fools segment earlier this month (which I encourage everyone to read, to gain a balanced look at the company, its challenges, and its opportunities).
Like CNET, TASER is a Rule Breakers newsletter recommendation. In fact, both low-priced stocks have been singled out more than once. I don't think that TASER is perfect, but I like the way it's been battling bad publicity stemming from TASER misuse, flooding the press releases channels with case studies of incidents that ended peacefully thanks to TASER technology.
Let's hope that TASER's own trading activity finds a similarly peaceful resolution.
5. Webzen (Nasdaq: WZEN ) - $4.25
A South Korean maker of online games, Webzen is no stranger to licensing its multiplayer fantasy games in China. It's at it again with Huxley, being introduced into China by The9 (Nasdaq: NCTY ) .
The9 has licensed other Webzen titles in the past. This latest venture gets particularly intriguing because The9's gamer credibility has shot through the roof since it introduced World of Warcraft in China.
Webzen had been profitable until 2005. With a few more hit titles, the company should be back in black by next year.
Want more stock ideas like CNET and TASER? Join me over at the Rule Breakers newsletter service. There are currently seven different active picks trading for less than $10 a share in the ultimate growth research service, and you can discover them all with a free 30-day trial.
Longtime Fool contributorRick Munarriz relishes panning for gold in dirty waters -- but he always keeps a wet-nap handy. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.