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Top 10 'Buy'-Rated Stocks Under $5

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5. Comverge (COMV)

Company Profile: Comverge provides products and services to the electric power markets in North America, focusing on demand response and advanced metering systems.

Share Price: $4.49 (March 29)

Stock Performance This Year: -35%

Analyst Consensus: Eight analysts have a "buy" rating on Comverge, including those at firms like R.W. Baird. However, 12 other firms recommend investors hold shares, including JPMorgan, Jefferies and Piper Jaffray. The average analyst price target of $7.92 represents potential upside of 85% from current levels.

Bullish Case: Noble Financial analyst Matthew Crews reiterated a "buy" rating and $10 price target on Comverge in a March 10 research note, telling investors to look beyond the lull. "We remain positive on Comverge despite our lowered estimates," Crews wrote. "We believe that the industry is facing a lull in 2011 and we expect an improving environment in 2012 and beyond based on growing demand response under management and improving pricing on its demand response capacity."

On the other hand, TheStreet Ratings has a "sell" rating on Comverge due to weaknesses "such as its disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins."

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