By Louis Navellier of InvestorPlace
NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- Several high-tech small cap stocks rose to the top of my
buy list this month after racking up impressive gains in the last four weeks.
These companies may not have the largest market cap, but they all have great upside in the month of October. And they're all set to be the standout winners this earnings season. Make sure you pick up shares of these companies before they release earnings.
Here are five small-cap stocks to buy now.
1. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International
develops drugs for a variety of illnesses and ailments, including epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, migraines and acne. But Valeant has changed a lot. It recently completed a merger with Biovail, the largest pharmaceutical company in Canada. Even though this was marketed as a merger, it was structured as a buyout as if Biovail is buying the old Valeant.
Valeant stockholders will receive, for each share of VRX stock held prior to the merger, 1.7809 shares of Biovail (after the merger, the combined company changes its name to Valeant). In addition, the company will issue a one-time dividend of $16.77 per share to every old Valeant shareholder of record as of Sept. 27.
During the past several months, Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Biovail rallied in tandem as their merger was being finalized. Since September, VRX has gained 11%. VRX will announce earnings for the third quarter sometime in early November. Analysts are expecting earnings of $0.81 per share, an increase of nearly 20% from the previous quarter and sales of $297.1 million, a 25% year-over-year increase.
I predict this stock will surge as we near its report, so continue to buy VRX while it remains under $28 per share.
2. Acme Packet
( APKT) is a communications equipment company that witnessed a surge in institutional interest in the third quarter as institutional investors increased their holdings of the company's stock by nearly 25%. The reason institutional investors, including banks, financial advisories and mutual funds, have become so interested in APKT is because of earnings.
Analysts are predicting earnings of $0.19 per share on sales of $54.9 million. Compared with last year's results, the data represents a 111% earnings increase and a 51% sales increase. In all likelihood, actual results will come in even higher as analysts aggressively have been revising these estimates higher in the past several months. APKT itself even raised its yearly forecast in its most-recent quarterly financial report.
Since May, this stock has nearly doubled in value. Continue to add this stock to your portfolio while it remains under my buy-below price of $44.
has had an outstanding past several weeks, gaining 22% since September. This performance has caught the attention of analysts, and we've seen one downgrade on the stock because of this big move. While we will likely see some profit taking after a run like this, I still like the stock.
Recently, NFLX surged following the announcement that
was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Netflix's most visible competitor, Blockbuster, represented the bricks-and-mortar video industry that Internet-based companies like Netflix were founded to supplant. With Blockbuster now essentially out of the picture, NFLX has become better-positioned to increase its already rapidly growing subscriber base.
It should come as no surprise that this stock has surged 39% since June. Investors are eagerly awaiting this company's third-quarter financial report, which will be released on Oct. 20. Analysts are expecting earnings of $0.72 per share, up from earnings of $0.52 per share in the equivalent year-ago quarter, and sales of $551 million, up from $423 million last year.
My Buy Below price on this stock is $172 so be sure to pick up shares before its earnings are announced.
4. Spreadtrum Communications
was on quite a clip in September, ending the month 21% higher despite a wave of profit-taking that sunk the stock slightly in the final week of the month. The chip company designs and markets baseband communications chips for mobile phones in China, one of the fastest-growing wireless markets in the world.
The company also recently announced the world's first triple SIM in single chip solution, a technology that allows three GSM SIM cards -- chips used to run mobile devices -- to operate simultaneously in one mobile phone.
The rapid growth of Spreadtrum's business will be evidenced in the company's forthcoming third-quarter earnings report to be released on Nov. 15. The company forecasts sales of between $88 million and $96 million, on par with current analysts' estimates of $92 million. Sales are predicted to rise 140% year-over-year along with earnings, which should grow from $0.01 per share in the third quarter of 2009 to $0.33 per share this year, a more than 3,000% jump. In the past three months, analysts have revised earnings estimates +18% higher.
To me, this indicates a probable earnings surprise. Buy this stock under $16.
makes test equipment and software that is used to install and maintain corporate computer networks, as well as VoIP and ATM networks. In this day and age, network security and efficiency is paramount to running a successful business.
This stock shot up rapidly in July, but like SPRD, it was hit by a wave of profit-taking in September. The thinly traded stock fell by nearly 25% in mid-Sept. as investors sought to lock in triple-digit gains. Since that time, RDCM has established a base from which it can rally further.
To date, gains on this stock are still exceptionally high at 115%. The company reported a 76.9% increase in second-quarter sales as its quarterly revenue rose to $4.6 million. Its earnings increased by an even greater margin -- 141%. The company's operating margins continue to improve substantially, which bodes well for earnings in the coming quarter.
Buy RDCM below $10.
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One of Wall Street's renowned growth investors, Louis Navellier is the editor of four investing newsletters: Emerging Growth (formerly known as MPT Review), Blue Chip Growth, Quantum Growth and Global Growth. His longest-running publication, Emerging Growth, has a track record of beating the market nearly 3 to 1. Navellier is the author of a BusinessWeek bestseller, "The Little Book That Makes You Rich," and the chairman and founder of Navellier & Associates, Inc.