I'm not afraid of fishing for growth stocks in single-digit waters. You probably aren't, either. It's tricky, though, because while you'll find plenty of stocks trading for pocket change, they are usually trading for less than $10 for a reason. Some are broken. Some are bloated. Some are stuck in the mud and are likely to get even muddier before finding a way out.
I don't want any of those troubled stocks nibbling at my line. I'm fishing for growth stocks, right? As a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service team, that's just the way I bait my hook. I don't want bad stocks that were once great. I want great stocks that are poised to become even greater in the future.
So let's get started, then. Believe it or not, there are some pretty amazing companies that are moving in the right direction -- and that are trading for less than $10 a share. Let's catch some.
You don't need to dig into a bag of palindromes to introduce this company to a madam. It's been six years since we last looked into this efficient provider of health-care content. Yes, this is the same A.D.A.M. behind the illustrated anatomy guides and medical encyclopedias that you may have encountered over the years. I was first introduced to the company in one of our Fool discussion boards -- where value investors discuss stocks trading for not much more than the cash on their respective balance sheets. Just one year ago, A.D.A.M. was trading for less than $2, half of that backed by the company's greenery.
Lately, A.D.A.M. has been the picture of health. It has been profitable for nine consecutive quarters. Earnings doubled last quarter on a 34% spurt in revenues. The company has been able to cash in on its catalog of medical know-how in various market segments. Even still, I think its future will only get brighter now that the popularity of paid search has shown us how valuable health-care content can be. Some of the highest bids for sponsored search listings can be found in the medical field. Whether it's ambulance-chasing lawyers trolling for diseased clients or pharmaceutical companies trying to peddle high-margin drugs for maladies, you have to like A.D.A.M.'s future growth potential.
If you've ever walked down the aisle in the name of matrimony, you've probably had plenty of practice by the time you formally say, "I do." It's often a question the bride and groom ask themselves in the planning process. You need bridesmaids' dresses? "I do?" You'll need a DJ lined up for your reception? "I do?" That's where The Knot comes in. For those tying the titular knot, TheKnot.com is a resource for all those wedding details. The Knot has a killer brand that has been featured in various television outlets -- including a key role in the second season of "The Apprentice," when The Knot saved the day for one team.
It seems that the young and underprepared have been relying on The Knot -- the company's online advertising revenue rose by 41% last year. It's profitable, too.
However, what I most like about the company is how it has just started to capitalize on its strong position in drawing prospective newlyweds and broadening its wingspan. The company recently launched TheNest.com, designed to be a site for the newlyweds it helped get hitched in the first place. It also acquired a pair of dating sites, giving the company an even earlier hand in the courting process.
Pop and personality rarely speak the same language. Sure, the cola giants can sign up "flavor of the week" celebrities as endorsers, but that's a predictable marketing process. Maybe you should uncap a bottle of Jones Soda to change that opinion.
It's not just the colorful bottles. The company's creative flavors and edgy packaging (where drinkers submit photographs that get tapped for the ever-changing labels) really set the products apart from the bland popsmiths elsewhere. Perhaps that's why Jones Soda is now stocked in hip outlets such as Starbucks
Sirius Satellite Radio
Unless you've been living under a rock, you have probably heard a lot about satellite radio by now. Then again, I hear the reception is still pretty good under said rock, so you really have no excuse for not knowing about Sirius and its only rival, XM Satellite Radio
Featuring more than 120 channels of commercial-free music and ad-sponsored spoken content, Sirius and XM have been winning over terrestrial radio's most ardent listeners. By the end of the year, XM and Sirius expect to combine for at least 8.2 million subscribers -- that's 3 million more than they had at the end of March.
While there are plenty of reasons to be excited about both satellite radio players, Sirius -- despite its smaller subscriber base -- seems to have a bright future. In January 2006, Howard Stern will kiss conventional radio goodbye and move over to Sirius. Love him? Hate him? Either way, his syndicated show is an ear magnet. Sirius also has the exclusive satellite radio broadcasting rights to the NFL and recently wrestled the NASCAR contract away from XM.
Despite its share price, Sirius isn't exactly cheap. With more than 1.3 billion shares outstanding, the company already commands a market cap of $8 billion. That's more than the combined -- and multiplied -- total of A.D.A.M., The Knot, and Jones Soda. But XM and Sirius will grow to define the future of audio entertainment. If you're not already, I recommend that you get up to speed on this very dynamic sector. You'll understand the beauty of having only two companies controlling the domestic market.
More than just pennies for your thoughts
These are some pretty fascinating growth stocks. They are not penny stocks, despite the fact that you can buy in for less than a 10-spot per share. But just because they're not flapping their fins in the speculative cesspool of pennies, you shouldn't assume they are risk-free. They are quite risky. Then again, risk is part of the game when you are angling for big game -- and big gains.
Feel like casting a line to catch small stocks with big teeth? Join Rick and our team of analysts -- led by Fool co-founder David Gardner -- in our Rule Breakers newsletter service. Fishing lessons will be provided, as will monthly shipments of fresh bait. Still not sure? Go for a free 30-day trial instead. You'll get two stock picks per month, as well as access to all our recommendations to date. Click here to learn more.
Some more chartered expeditions to check out:
- I've had some pretty fair success in singling out stocks trading in the single digits since 2001.
- I've felt that Sirius was a worthy Rule Breaker since last year.
- Discover the next great stock with our Rule Breakers stock service.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't mind paying more than $10 for a share of stock -- if he really has to. He does not presently own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.