Many of your student teams are in the thick of their Stock Market Game session, and the quest to find the hot stocks or funds is alive and well.

While some of your groups may be having more success than others in generating a positive return, this week's SMG Week in Review will focus on five stocks experiencing phenomenal growth since early September. The goal of highlighting these companies is not to have your students rush to add them to their portfolios (they can if they wish), but rather to draw attention to possible trends within these companies' industries and sectors. Your students may be able to then select their own winners on the basis of further research.

1. Sigma Designs ( SIGM). According to Hoovers.com, Sigma Designs can dress your computer like a TV star in streaming video. The company's REALmagic line of PC cards and chipsets enhances the realistic feel of DVD and other multimedia applications. Its MPEG-based products simulate the picture quality of television by turning computer screens into full-screen, full-motion video displays. Last Thursday, Oct. 25, the company announced that its SMP8634 media processor was selected by Samsung Electronics to power its third generation Blu-ray player, the BD-P1400.

2. WuXi PharmaTech ( WX). WuXi is a China-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology research-and-development outsourcing company. The company provides a portfolio of chemistry, biology and manufacturing services in the drug discovery and development process to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Its core operations are grouped into two segments: laboratory services and manufacturing. The company's stock price has gained $5.31 per share in a span of a month, generating a 19% gain.

3. Aegean Marine Petroleum Network ( ANW). Aegean supplies and markets refined marine fuel and lubricants to ships in port and at sea. As a physical supplier, it purchases marine fuel from refineries, major oil producers and other sources and resells and delivers these fuels. It provides fueling services to virtually all types of ocean-going vessels and many types of coastal vessels, such as oil tankers, container ships, dry-bulk carriers, cruise ships and ferries.

4. Cardica ( CRDC). The company assists surgeons treating patients with coronary heart disease by making products such as the C-Port and PAS-Port systems that offer a less time-consuming and simpler alternative to hand-sewn suturing. Cardica received FDA approval for the C-Port system in 2005 and sells the PAS-Port system in Europe and Japan. The company's stock price experienced a 112% gain since September when the stock was selling just above $5 per share.

5. China Finance Online Co. ( JRJC). The company provides financial information to individual investors as well as financial professionals such as investment bankers, stock analysts and financial reporters in China. Since early September, the stock price has gained 221% from $10.94 per share to $35.13 per share at the time of this writing.

While the "buy what you know" strategy is a great introduction to stock selection, it's also important to emphasize the importance of diversification. Most likely all of the companies listed above are unfamiliar to your students (and are beyond the consumer sector which makes up most SMG portfolios). For more information about diversification, be sure to check out the "What is Diversification" lesson in the Teacher Support Center located in the "In the Classroom" section under "Lesson Sequence."

This article was written by a staff member of The Stock Market Game.

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