1. Valassis Communications ( VCI), a direct-marketing firm, surged 1,640% during the past year. If you were lucky enough to buy near the 52-week low, you could've turned $1,000 into $22,000 in under 12 months. The Livonia, Michigan-based company recently won a suit against News Corp. ( NWSA), entitling it to $500 million. It swung to a third-quarter profit of $14 million, or 28 cents a share, from a loss of $5.2 million, or 28 cents, a year earlier. -- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.