What's better than momentum? Mo' momentum.

Let's take a closer look at five of this past week's biggest scorchers.

Company

Dec. 23 Weekly Gain My Watchlist
Winn-Dixie Stores (Nasdaq: WINN) $9.37 73% Add
Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE: SRZ) $6.06 29% Add
VirnetX Holding (AMEX: VHC) $27.35 29% Add
SandRidge Energy (NYSE: SD) $8.57 27% Add
USG (NYSE: USG) $10.31 21% Add

Source: Barron's.

Winn-Dixie hit the checkout line with a big fat smile. The Southeastern grocery store operator is being acquired by rival Bi-Lo in an all-cash deal. The $9.50-per-share buyout price is a healthy 75% premium to Winn-Dixie's close before the announcement was made public.

Sunrise Senior Living rose after a bullish SeekingAlpha.com article played up the retirement home operator's buyout prospects given its improving balance sheet. A story later in the week indicated that a hedge fund manager with a sizable stake in Sunrise was increasing its position.

VirnetX jumped after speculation began to build that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) was being denied a request to reexamine a patent held by the mobile security researcher. VirnetX went on to confirm that a patent reexamination request -- by Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) -- was denied by the patent office.

SandRidge Energy gained ground by losing ground. The company sold some of its acreage for a tidier sum than analysts were expecting.

Finally, there's USG. The gypsum materials specialist posted strong gains after a Commerce Report showed the strongest new housing starts data in two years. The news bodes well for USG's drywall business.

It was a great week for these five stocks. If you want to get an early read on some of tomorrow's major gainers, there's a special report on three hidden winners in a booming industry. The report is free -- like this article -- but it won't be around forever, so check it out now.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.