This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

10 Best-Performing Stocks Under $5 in 2011

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Small-cap stocks are set to close out 2011 with big losses, but some companies trading under $5, such as TeamStaff (TSTF) and Majesco Entertainment (COOL - Get Report), have more than tripled.

After a two-year bull market that followed the 2008 financial crisis, small-caps have been brutalized. The Russell 2000 index, a measure of share performance for smaller companies, is down more than 14% since the end of April. Investors have become more risk-averse and have sought safety in dividend-paying, large-cap stocks, U.S. Treasury bonds and even cash.

The flight to safety has been torrential, especially as the debt crisis in Europe worsens. Overall, the Russell 2000 index has dropped 6% this year, while the S&P 500, which holds the companies with the largest market values, is down a fraction of a percent. At the same time, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury has dwindled from 3.3% to 2%. Gold has also been a hideout for investors. The precious metal has jumped from about $1,400 an ounce at the end of 2010 to above $1,700 an ounce.

Still, many inexpensive stocks have generated huge returns for lucky stock pickers. In November, amid fears the entire eurozone region would crumble under the weight of its debt, stocks like Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) and Spanish Broadcasting System (SBSA) more than doubled.

But given the volatility in the equity market, investors must be careful in searching out small-cap stocks worth the risk, as fortunes can be lost with one bad trade. For example, American Airlines parent AMR Corp. (AMR) dropped more than 87% last month on its bankruptcy announcement, while FiberTower (FTWR) and Delta Petroleum (DPTR) each sank 70%.

Some small-cap winners have doubled and, in some cases, tripled and quadrupled this year. The following pages detail the best-performing stocks under $5 this year on the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and NYSE Amex, ranked by total return in 2011.

10. Crescent Financial (CRFN)

Company Profile: Crescent Financial, the parent of Crescent State Bank, operates 15 full-service banking offices North Carolina with $916 million in total assets.

Shares of Crescent Financial doubled in one day in late February after Piedmont Community Bank Holdings paid $75 million to acquire a 66% stake in Crescent. In November, after extending its tender offer for shares, Piedmont completed its investment in Crescent.

Share Price: $4.45 (Dec. 2)

2011 Total Return: 98%

Analyst Ratings: All three researchers following Crescent Financial recommend that investors hold onto shares, including research shop Raymond James. There are currently no price targets from analysts on Crescent shares.

TheStreet Ratings has a "sell" rating on Crescent Financial, citing unimpressive growth in net income and poor profit margins.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player
1 of 6

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
INPH $0.00 0.00%
COOL $1.15 0.00%
FSI $0.82 0.00%
PRKR $0.18 0.00%
VICL $0.47 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 +1.24 0.06%
NASDAQ 5,127.5250 +11.3820 0.22%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs