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5 of Last Week's Biggest Winners

By Rick Munarriz – Mar 2, 2014 at 6:15AM

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These five stocks posted double-digit percentage gains.

What's better than momentum? Mo' momentum. Let's take a closer look at five of this past week's biggest scorchers.


Feb. 28

Weekly Gain

J.C. Penney (JCPN.Q)



Kandi Technologies (KNDI -0.79%)



Tesla Motors (TSLA 0.56%)



Novvax (NVAX -0.35%)



Violin Memory (NYSE: VMEM)



Source: Barron's.

Let's start with J.C. Penney. The department-store chain bounced back by posting improvement during the seasonally potent fourth quarter. J.C. Penney saw comps climb 2% for the quarter -- and an even more inspiring 3.1% during the holiday season -- but it goes without saying that this only makes a small dent in its declines during the two previous holiday shopping runs. However, it's all about taking baby steps in the right direction at the struggling retailer, and at the end of the day J.C. Penney was able to post a smaller adjusted loss than Wall Street was forecasting. In other words, it achieved its positive comps without having to mark down its items as badly as the market was expecting.

The market was singing "I Want Kandi" after the Chinese maker of electric vehicles announced plans to expand its electric car-rental service to Beijing and Shanghai. Kandi also revealed that its original rental service is now profitable.

Kandi wasn't the only electric-car maker on the move. Market darling Tesla Motors hit another all-time high after announcing plans to build a factory to build lithium-ion batteries. Tesla's Gigafactory won't come cheap at an estimated $5 billion investment, but it will make sure that Tesla's production is never held back by a lack of battery juice.

Novavax moved after extending its contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences for the advanced development of its seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines. The original three-year deal was set to end in February, so Thursday's after-hours announcement was cutting it close. The market probably saw it coming, pushing the shares higher in the week's first four trading days before a "sell on the news" moment on Friday. The extension provides Novavax to access what's left of the original $97 million in funding through September.

Violin Memory played a more uplifting scoring a deal with a value-added distributor in Europe that will begin offering its solutions in the DACH region that includes Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It's naturally an incremental move for the flash memory specialist that continues to trade for less than half of last year's $9 IPO price.

Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Tesla Motors. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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