BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Investors in stocks that trade for less than $5 think of nothing more than a quick return.

Some are lucky enough to double their money. Some get wiped out. After all, many large investment firms bar their own managers and traders from holding stocks that cost less than $5. Still, owning a stock that is volatile enough to double in price is Wall Street's version of the brass ring.

To find under-$5 stock candidates for a big return, turn to hard-to-find analysts' reports. Some analysts have boldly predicted that a handful of $5 stocks could double in price over the next several months.

TheStreet sought out five stocks that currently trade below $5 primed to double by examining U.S. companies with coverage by no fewer than five analysts. The following five companies made the grade.

5. Orexigen Therapeutics ( OREX) shares rallied Friday after the company said results from a trial showed that patients taking its Contrave obesity drug were two to three times more likely to lose at least 5% or 10% of their body weight compared to those taking a placebo.

Share Price: $5.20 (July 30 close)

Average Price Target: $12.75, based on four analyst price targets of $14, $8, $12 and $13 dating to June. Compared to the current share price for Orexigen, the average price target represents a 138% surge.

2010 Performance: -30.1% (S&P 500 has fallen 1.3% so far this year)

Analysts' View: Eleven analysts cover Orexigen shares, with eight, or 72.7%, rating the stock as a "buy." JPMorgan, Jefferies, Canaccord Genuity and Cowen & Co. are among the research firms that expect the shares to outperform.

4. MediciNova ( MNOV) said on May 11 that it entered into a $15 million senior secured term loan with Oxford Finance to continue clinical development of MN-221, its treatment of acute exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). On May 17, MediciNova said its first-quarter loss widened slightly to 42 cents a share from 41 cents a year earlier.

Share Price: $4.84 (July 30 close)

Average Price Target: $13, based on three analyst price targets of $13 each dating to May 12. Based on the average target, analysts see upside potential of 183%.

2010 Performance: -31.3%

Analysts' View: All five research firms covering MediciNova, including Rodman & Renshaw and Ladenburg Thalmann, rate the stock as a "buy." In May, McNicoll Lewis & Vlak analyst Christopher James said he estimated peak sales of about $840 million for MN-221 in asthma alone. "Thus, COPD could represent a major source of upside," James wrote.

3. Biodel ( BIOD) shares rose in late June after the company announced positive results of a clinical study of its rapid-acting VIAject diabetes injection. On July 12, Biodel said preclinical tests of its glucose-regulated or "smart" basal insulin product candidate, BIOD620, suggests the company has "developed a new form of basal insulin that adjusts automatically to changing glucose levels."

Share Price: $3.90 (July 30 close)

Average Price Target: Just below $16, based on three analyst price targets of $17, $14 and $15 dating to June 14. Based on Biodel's current share price, analysts on average see upside of 295%.

2010 Performance: -10.1%

Analysts' View: Seven analysts cover Biodel and five of those research firms, including Cantor Fitzgerald and JPMorgan, rate the stock a "buy." On June 29, Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Matthew Kaplan reiterated his "buy" rating and $14 price target, arguing that "regulatory clarity may trigger a potential development and/or commercialization partnership."

2. Cytokinetics ( CYTK) said on July 26 that it has been awarded a $2.9 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for preclinical and clinical development of CK-2017357, the company's treatment for myasthenia gravis, or muscle weakness and fatigue.

Share Price: $2.75 (July 30 close)

Average Price Target: $11.50, based on three analyst price targets of $7, $16.50 and $11 dating to May 11. From the current share price, the average price target from analysts signifies a 308% jump.

2010 Performance: -5.5%

Analysts' View: Five of the six analysts following Cytokinetics rate the stock a "buy," including JMP Securities and Canaccord Genuity. In a July 29 research note, Wedbush analyst Gregory Wade maintained his "outperform" rating on the stock and said he arrives at his $16.50 price target by adding $3.50 per share assigned to Cytokinetics' lead drug candidate, omecamtiv mecarbil, to his estimate of the company's anticipated appreciation of $13 per share for the potential of the company's skeletal muscle program.

1. General Steel Holdings ( GSI) shares jumped in May after the Chinese company reported a first-quarter loss of 11 cents a share on revenue of $453 million, which was better than the consensus for a loss of 14 cents a share and revenue of $416 million. General Steel will post second-quarter results on Aug. 6, and the average of two analyst estimates calls for a loss of 6 cents a share on revenue of $491.2 million. On May 14, General Steel said it acquired a majority stake in one of Shanxi Meijin Energy Group's businesses for $64.7 million in cash and stock.

Share Price: $2.89 (July 30 close)

Average Price Target: $19, based on two analyst price targets of $34 and $4 dating to May 28. The average target represents a 551% rally from where the stock currently trades.

2010 Performance: -34.5%

Analysts' View: Three research firms, or 60% of those covering the stock, rate General Steel a "buy." They include Rodman & Renshaw and Caris & Co., which have price targets of $4 and $34, respectively. Hudson Securities analyst Julie Chen has a "hold" rating on the stock, "due to lack of visibility into commodity pricing which has created gross margin volatility industry-wide."

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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