7 Penny Tech Stocks to Buy

By Louis Navellier for InvestorPlace

NEW YORK ( InvestorPlace) -- This has been the year of tech stocks, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq up more than +17% compared with +12% gains for the S&P 500. On top of those gains, there has been a host of high-tech buyouts, from the Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) buyouts of 3Par and Palm to Intel ( INTC) acquiring McAfee.

But there are many reasons to expect that 2011 will be even brighter for tech stocks -- particularly well-run penny stocks in the technology sector. That's because these small, agile companies can really take advantage of a strategic niche, a new technology or an overall updraft in the economy in ways big blue chips cannot.

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If you're looking to add some low-priced, high-tech stocks to your holdings for the new year, consider these 7 top penny stocks to buy now:

Powerwave Technologies ( PWAV)

Powerwave is a global company that provides end-to-end wireless solutions for wireless communications networks. Its products are used in wireless networks globally. Since January, this penny stock has gained an impressive +100%, compared to gains of +17% and +11% for the Nasdaq and Dow, respectively. Importantly, PWAV has outpaced earnings estimates for two consecutive quarters.

Tower Semiconductor ( TSEM)

Independent specialty foundry Tower Semiconductor is dedicated to the manufacture of semiconductors. Year-to-date, TSEM has jumped +43%, compared with much smaller gains by the broader markets. In its last income statement, Tower reported a year-over-year quarterly revenue growth of +69%. Currently, Tower trades at $1.29, with a 52-week range of 93 cents to $1.87. Consider buying this inexpensive stock now while it's still at the low end of its range and approaching new highs.

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ChipMOS Technologies ( IMOS)

Holding company ChipMOS Technologies engages in a number of testing services, such as engineering testing, wafer probing and final testing of memory and logic/mixed-signal semiconductors. Since January, the penny stock has doubled. In the short term, IMOS stock is up +16.4% over the past three months. It is also important to note that ChipMOS reported a year-over-year quarterly revenue growth of +41% in its last income statement.

RAE Systems ( RAE)

RAE Systems produces rapidly deployable, multi-sensor chemical and radiation detection monitors and wireless networks. Its products are used in the following industries: oil and gas, hazardous material management, industrial safety, civil defense and environmental remediation. Year-to-date, RAE has gained almost +50%, compared to smaller gains by the broader markets. Most of RAE's gains occurred in mid-September, when the stock skyrocketed more than +44% in one week! Additionally, RAE has outperformed earnings estimates for the past three quarters, making it an attractive buy.

Glu Mobile ( GLUU)

Glu Mobile designs, markets and sells games for mobile phones. Some of its games include Call of Duty, Deer Hunter, Diner Dash and Guitar Hero 5, among others. Since January, this penny stock has nearly doubled. Also impressive is that GLUU has jumped +51% over the past three months. GLUU has also outperformed earnings estimates for three consecutive quarters, which has stockholders thrilled.

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WidePoint ( WYY)

WidePoint provides technology-based products to the government and commercial sector. The company comprises three segments: Wireless Mobility Management, Cybersecurity Solutions and Consulting Services. Year-to-date, this penny stock has posted impressive gains of +80%. Also, WYY stock has climbed +20% over the past three months. Additionally, WidePoint has met earnings estimates for two straight quarters, and recently posted a net profit margin of +8.1% in its last income statement.

NetSol Technologies ( NTWK)

NetSol is a designer, developer, marketer and exporter of software products to customers in the automobile finance and leasing, banking, health care and financial services industries. Since January, this penny stock is up +78%, compared to smaller gains by the broader markets. More recently, NTWK is up +15% over the past three months. Earnings wise, NTWK has met or exceeded estimates three of the last four quarters.

As of this writing, Louis Navellier did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.

At the time of publication, Navellier did not own a position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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.

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