Big things can come from small share prices.

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, naturally. 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 of last year to prove my point.

Company

6/18/10

3/13/09

Gain

Sirius XM Radio

$1.04

$0.198

425%

Bare Escentuals*

$18.20

$3.66

397%

Focus Media

$16.61

$5.74

189%

Geron

$5.08

$4.36

17%

Ford

$11.46

$2.19

423%

*Bare Escentuals was acquired for $18.20 a share earlier this year.

The average gain of 290% in just 15 months is remarkable. Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) had braced investors for the possibility of a bankruptcy filing a month earlier. Ford (NYSE: F) may have been the better-positioned stateside automaker, but no one was buying cars at the time. It's a whole new world now with Sirius XM gaining subscribers and new auto sales growing nicely month after month at Ford.

Let's go over this month's picks.

China TransInfo (Nasdaq: CTFO) -- $5.97
China's decision over the weekend to let the yuan gradually appreciate relative to the dollar is only one reason to warm up to stocks toiling away in the world's most populous nation. China TransInfo is a bargain on its own. The transportation technology specialist is expected to grow its bottom line by 28% this year and 45% next year.

However, in Mr. Market's befuddled wisdom, China TransInfo is trading for less than six times next year's projected profitability. The company will continue to cash in as China beefs up its transportation infrastructure.

Saba Software (Nasdaq: SABA) -- $5.00
Closer to home, Saba Software is another tech gem trading at an earnings multiple that is far cheaper than its heady growth rate.

Saba is the "Power Up Your People" enterprise software company, with 1,300 companies -- and 1.7 million people -- onboard. Organizations apparently think highly of Saba, because business is booming. Wall Street sees earnings climbing 32% in 2010 and another 31% come 2011. This is a lot of heavy lifting for a small company trading for less than 14 times next year's net income target.

Smart Balance (Nasdaq: SMBL) -- $4.30
The maker of heart-healthy spreads and other supermarket staples hit a fresh 52-week low last week after slashing its near-term sales outlook.

It's a lousy time for Smart Balance to prove mortal. It had defied the recession, growing market share in its flagship buttery spreads business through the market downturn. This year was supposed to be special, given the national rollout of its fortified milk. Smart Balance's guidance of 2% to 4% top-line growth for 2010 indicates that milk may not be the cash cow that investors originally thought it would be.

The premium food player still makes the cut here because Smart Balance remains a heart-healthy brand to reckon with in its primary categories. It would make an attractive acquisition target if it doesn't regain its growth-stock ways.

Art Technology Group (Nasdaq: ARTG) -- $3.67
There is no denying that e-commerce is here to stay, and ATG helps support business-to-business and business-to-consumer online initiatives. As more companies turn to cyberspace to drum up sales, ATG is there to efficiently serve up targeted content.

ATG has been consistently profitable over the years, despite its tiny share price. It's no slouch. Analysts are looking for a profit of $0.21 a share this year and $0.25 a share next year.

Arctic Cat (Nasdaq: ACAT) -- $9.64
Snowmobiles and ATVs are fun rides, but clearly not the leisure vehicles of choice during a soft economy. Arctic Cat is a bet on the consumer in an overall recovery.

Don't read too much into the company's loss in its latest quarter. This is a highly seasonal business, with huge profits during the September and December quarters offsetting deficits during the balance of the year.

It all adds up nicely in the end, and Wall Street is banking on earnings of $0.31 a share this fiscal year and $0.46 a share the following year.

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

Smart Balance is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Ford Motor is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days.

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