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Small-Caps Surge Up to 1,640% in a Year

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Stocks slumped to a three-month low earlier this week on concern about events outside the U.S., notably Greece and China.

Most stocks were battered, regardless of their worthiness. But the S&P 500 Index rebounded yesterday. Still, this year has been marked by a seesawing market.

The eight stocks below trounced indices over the past 12 months. TheStreet.com's equity model, which evaluates 5,000 stocks, ranks the following in the top 1% for performance. Investors with a tolerance for risk may want to consider buying shares now that the market has gotten cheaper. The stocks are ordered by performance, from worst to best.

8. Health-care specialist Continucare (CNU) advanced 111% during the past year, but has dropped 6.6% in 2010. Continucare is a provider of outpatient primary care and owns 18 medical centers in Florida. During the past three years, it has increased revenue 22% annually, on average, and boosted profit 56% a year. Its stock is still cheap at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 12.

7. Medical-device seller Hypertension Diagnostics (HDII) increased 411% in the past year. The Eagan, Minnesota-company sells cardiovascular profiling instruments, which non-invasively measure large and small artery elasticity. Hypertension is a penny stock with a market value of only $7.6 million, but investors are optimistic about its products' potential. It holds $960,000 of cash and no debt, but is unprofitable.

6. Oil explorer China North East Petroleum (NEP) surged 425% during the past 12 months and doubled over three months. The low-cost driller's third-quarter profit dropped 18% to $4.1 million, and earnings per share tumbled 29% to 17 cents, hurt by a higher share count. But the company boasts an industry-leading net margin of 28%, which compares favorably to the 7% spread at Exxon Mobil (XOM).

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