To say that 2009 was a tumultuous year for stocks is clearly an understatement. Some, though, fared better than others. Here's a brief rundown of the year's best and worst performing stocks listed on the Nasdaq.


Diedrich Coffee -- up 9,597.22%

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It's nice to be wanted, and for much of the fourth quarter, two of coffee's biggest names - Green Mountain ( GMCR) and Peet's ( PEET) -- lusted for Diedrich Coffee's ( DDRX) goods. Diedrich, a $68 million southern California bean roaster and wholesaler, sells its blends at coffee houses around the country. But the huge growth has come from its K-cup business, or the Diedrich-branded coffee packs used with single-cup brewing systems.

With the K-cup industry growing more than 70% over the past few years, Peet's tried to make entry by offering to buy Diedrich for $213 million. But in early December, Green Mountain, which owns the licensing rights for K-cups, countered and eventually won. Green Mountain is currently in the process of buying Diedrich for $290 million.

Select Comfort -- Up 2,512%

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Shares of Select Comfort ( SCSS), the Plymouth, Minn., maker of specialty beds, have greatly rebounded thanks to a number of fund-raising deals the company has struck to pad itself against bleeding sales. After admitting he misjudged consumers' willingness to pay thousands of dollars for high-tech mattresses during the worst recession in recent history, CEO Bill McLaughlin is making amends.

In June, the company tapped a private equity firm for $35 million, which it used to get rid of its outstanding debt. More recently, Select boosted its working capital by raising $16.4 million via a public offering of 3.8 million shares of common stock, which helped spike its stock to about $6.50 a share.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals -- up 2,210%

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Vanda Pharmaceuticals ( VNDA - Get Report), a developer of clinical-stage drugs for central nervous system disorders like schizophrenia and insomnia, wins the best Cinderella story of the year. After the Food and Drug Administration rejected its schizophrenia drug Fanapt in June 2008, Vanda's luck turned less than a year later. The FDA approved Fanapt in May, sending shares of the company leaping more than 800% to just under $10 a share.

More recently, Vanda, whose flagship product Fanapt competes with drugs sold by Eli Lilly ( LLY) and Pfizer ( PFE), scored $200 million by inking a licensing deal with Novartis AG ( NVS), which will sell Fanapt in the U.S. and in Canada.

Netlist -- up 1,668.73%

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Tiny memory chip maker Netlist ( NLST) owes its big stock run to a dizzying November jump. The shares rose more than 10-fold from 65 cents to $7.27 in 20 days. The excitement was related to a new HyperCloud chip for the server market, announced Nov. 11. The move may help the company shift its business from a low-margin supplier to outfits like Dell ( DELL) and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) to a more specialized data center player.

Human Genome Sciences -- up 1,361.79%

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It's only fitting that the company that employs this year's Best Biotech CEO has shown wondrous stock performance.

Human Genome ( HGSI), based in Rockville, Md., develops drugs to treat hepatitis C, lupus, inhalation anthrax, and cancer. The company turned a cornerstone this year when it received positive results from two phase III studies of its lupus drug, Benlysta, putting the company on a path toward its first blockbuster product. Human Genome, with annual revenues of about $236 million, opened the year with stock prices at about $2 and finished at about $30.


Repros Therapeutics -- down 92.21%

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Call it a pharma foul up, Repros Therapeutics ( RPRX) had to stop trials of its experimental drug Proellex this summer after concerns about potential liver damage. The move sent the stock tumbling from $7 in June to 80 cents at the end of the year; the stock is down 92.3% for the year.

Sterling Financial -- down 93.07%

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Sterling Financial, ( STSA) a holding company based in Spokane, Wash., is down 93%. Finding no comfort under the Fed's TARP, Sterling got soaked by its deteriorating mortgage-based securities business.

Pacific Capital Bancorp -- down 94.08%

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Its stocks down 94%, Pacific Capital Bancorp ( PCBC) is yet another bank dinged by the housing bubble. Bad real estate loans have pushed this Santa Barbara, Calif., TARP recipient close to the brink.

Horizon Financial -- down 95.36%

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Horizon Financial ( HRZB) is another Pacific Northwest regional bank sitting on too much debt and too little cash to survive. The FDIC has given Horizon until Thursday to raise cash or merge with another shop. Unfortunately, investors don't seem willing to wait around and watch.

RHI Entertainment -- down 96%

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In a bit of a shocker, the worst performing Nasdaq stock still trading at the end of the year wasn't a bank, but a media company. RHI Entertainment ( RHIE), previously known as Hallmark Entertainment, is a maker of niche-y made-for-TV movies like "Swamp Devil" and "River World," both made for sci-fi cable channel SyFy. With its stock down more than 96%, the $142 million RHI has not fared well in the era of reality shows.

-- Written by Scott Moritz in New York