If you've got $10, 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 nine 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 to prove my point.


Jan. 14, 2011

March 13, 2009


Sirius XM Radio $1.56 $0.198 688%
Bare Escentuals* $18.20 $3.66 397%
Focus Media $23.50 $5.74 309%
Geron $5.23 $4.36 20%
Ford $18.65 $2.19 752%

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

The average gain of 433% in less than two years is remarkable. Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) had braced investors for the possibility of a bankruptcy filing a month earlier. Now it's a thriving -- and profitable -- media giant. Ford (NYSE: F) may have been the better positioned stateside automaker, but no one was buying cars at the time. It's been a sweet drive ever since.

Let's go over this month's picks.

China Xiniya Fashion (NYSE: XNY) -- $8.38
There were several successful IPOs out of China last year. Xiniya isn't one of them. The stock went public at $11 less than two months ago. It's obviously fallen into the single digits now.

Xiniya sells men's formal and business-casual apparel in China, keying in on second-tier cities that are just starting to ride the country's economic boom. This would be a sound enough thesis on its own -- as China's smaller markets go through a workforce revolution that require more stylish duds and with the means to upgrade social wear -- but it gets better. Xiniya-branded garb has gone from being sold through 1,181 third-party retailers to 1,404 over the past year.

Shares have faltered despite three analysts moving in with earnings estimates on the apparel company and one making a strong buy recommendation. They see Xiniya earning between $0.70 a share and $0.74 a share this year, pricing the shares at less than 12 times forward earnings. It's an attractive entry point for a forgotten Chinese IPO.

Suntech Power (NYSE: STP) -- $8.94
Solar power is inevitably going to be a major energy source in our future. Stiff costs relative to options that aren't as eco-friendly and subsidization resistance have gotten in the way, making this a highly volatile industry for investors.

I have also had my concerns in the past, primarily the cutthroat nature of business and the growing number of public players. The attraction to Suntech Power now is that the stock has shed nearly half of its value over the past year. An opportunistic Barclays Capital upgraded the photovoltaic giant last week.

The knockdowns have been earned. Suntech's last two quarters have been major disappointments. However, analysts still see a profit of $1.21 a share on a better than 20% top-line uptick during 2011. If reality clocks in anywhere close to these targets, hindsight will have shown Suntech to have gone from being an iffy growth stock to a compelling value play.

Magic Software (Nasdaq: MGIC) -- $7.84
Cloud computing is hot these days, and Israeli-based Magic Software offers application platform solutions for both cloud and on-site setups.

Magic's rolling these days. Revenue spiked 56% through the first three quarters of last year, with earnings more than doubling along the way. Magic's clients are geographically spread out, giving the company choice seats as IT spending increases if the global economic recovery remains on track.

Navigant Consulting (NYSE: NCI) -- $9.41
Navigant is a consulting company, specializing in health care and litigation issues.

Business was flat last year, but Navigant is positioned well for 2011. Analysts see Navigant earning $0.79 a share on $759 million in revenue this year, representing spurts of 25% and 8%, respectively.

SmartHeat (Nasdaq: HEAT) -- $5.27
China's a coal-fueled nation, and SmartHeat makes the plate heat exchangers to make the burning process more efficient and eco-friendly.

SmartHeat's wares are in demand. Wall Street figures that its sales will grow 26% this year after a 43% surge in 2010. The bottom line has been growing much slower, and the margin contraction has investors worried.

It's a petty concern in light of the stock's valuation. SmartHeat is fetching less than seven times this year's projected profitability of $0.78 a share. It's hard to scoff at that kind of bargain-bin multiple.

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 a half-dozen active stock recommendations in the growth stock research service trading for less than $10 at the moment, including Suntech Power. Check those out, and I'll be back with more on the third Monday of next month.

Suntech Power is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Ford Motor is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders how many people know that Alexander Hamilton is the one on the $10 bill. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. 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.