5. Vical (VICL)
Company Profile: Vical develops gene-based treatments for cancer and infectious disease vaccines using DNA technology and proprietary lipids.Vical's stock has had an up-and-down 2011, beginning the year at $2 before spiking above $5 in July after the company signed an exclusive license contract with Astrellas Pharma for the commercialization of TransVax, Vical's therapeutic vaccine designed to control cytomegalovirus reactivation in transplant recipients. By October, shares of Vical slipped below $3 before jumping back above $4 in November after the company reported third-quarter earnings results, which included $25 million in licensing revenue fro TransVax. Share Price: $4.59 (Dec. 2) 2011 Total Return: 127% Analyst Ratings: Vical has the most coverage of any stock on the list with nine analysts following the company. Six say the stock is a "buy" while the other three suggest that investors hold onto shares. The average price target of $7.20 is about 57% above current levels. TheStreet Ratings has a "hold" rating on Vical, noting that the company's "robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance" is counterbalanced by disappointing return on equity.
4. Interphase (INPH) Company Profile: Interphase is a telecom-equipment maker. The company provides services for LTE and WiMAX, interworking gateways, packet processing, network connectivity and security for key applications. Interphase shares more than doubled on Feb. 11, a day after the company reported fourth-quarter financial results. The company said revenue in the quarter jumped 24% to $5.8 million as it swung to a quarterly profit. The stock hit a high of $7.59 in March but has been steadily pulling back since. Share Price: $4.59 (Dec. 2) 2011 Total Return: 155% Analyst Ratings: There are no research firms covering Interphase currently. TheStreet Ratings has a "sell" rating on the stock, which it has maintained since downgrading the stock from "hold" in July 2009. The latest report says Interphase's primary weakness is "feeble growth in its earnings per share."
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