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Best-Performing Stocks Under $5 in 2011

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7. TranS1 (TSON)

Company Profile: TranS1 is a medical-device company that develops products for its proprietary minimally invasive surgical approach to treat degenerative disc disease and instability affecting the spine.

Shares of TranS1 surged in early January after the company disclosed that health-care company Humana (HUM) changed its spinal surgery reimbursement policy to include coverage for medically necessary interbody fusion procedures when using TranS1's pre-sacral AxiaLIF approach. In June, TranS1 announced the 10,000th AxiaLIF surgery in the U.S.

Current Share Price: $4.51 (Aug. 30)

2011 Total Return: 117%

Analyst Ratings: Four research shops follow TranS1, and all four recommend that investors buy shares of the company. The average price target of $6.50 means that analysts still see significant upside to the stock.

TheStreet Ratings rates TranS1 a "sell," noting the company's "unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow."

6. Hansen Medical (HNSN - Get Report)

Company Profile: Hansen Medical develops medical robotics designed for accurate positioning, manipulation and control of catheters and catheter-based technologies.

Shares of Hansen Medical jumped to a 52-week high of $5.28 in July, but the rally began in early February after Philips Electronics purchased the rights to develop and market Hansen Medical's Fiber Optic Shape Sensing and Localization, or FOSSL, technology for an upfront payment of $29 million. Hansen Medical is also eligible for $78 million in future payments.

Current Share Price: $3.30 (Aug. 30)

2011 Total Return: 121%

Analyst Ratings: JPMorgan and Lazard Capital analysts rate Hansen Medical as a "hold" while Piper Jaffray analysts say the stock is a "buy."

TheStreet Ratings rates Hansen Medical a "sell," calling special attention to the company's weak operating cash flow.

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