The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

NEW YORK ( InvestorPlace ) -- Hot penny stocks are the place to be. In recent months, high tech stocks have seemed to get the biggest lift. The technology-focused Nasdaq index has outperformed the "old school" blue-chip Dow index by about 8 percentage points in the last 52 weeks -- a gain of about 19.5% for the Dow and 27.2% for the Nasdaq since mid-February last year. And low-priced penny stocks have shared in this tech sector surge.

Now when I say penny stocks, I must throw in a disclaimer. I am not speaking about stocks that literally trade for 1 cent a share. Those micro-caps that trade on the pink sheets are a sucker's bet, and don't have to deal with the same strict standards of a large stock exchange like the Nasdaq, AMEX or NYSE. I am simply speaking about ultra-low priced stocks in general -- anything under a few bucks a share.

So if you're looking to play the tech surge, here are six penny stocks to buy now in the electronics and tech sector:

Sify Technologies Ltd. (SIFY)

Integrated Internet, network and electronic commerce services company Sify Technologies Ltd. ( SIFY) starts off the list of penny stocks to buy this week. Operating in India this stock has seen tremendous gains since the start of September, up +128%. More recently, this penny stock is up +53% in the last three months as well. SIFY also has the potential for very quick growth, as evidenced by its +36% gain during a single week in January. While buying low-priced penny stocks is always a risky endeavor, SIFY has the potential to add to your portfolio in a hurry.

Identive Group Inc. (INVE)

Formerly known as SCM Microsystems. Inc, Identive Group Inc. ( INVE) is an international technology group focused on secure identification technologies. Since September, INVE has doubled the growth of the NASDAQ index by gaining +65%, in the last six months. Another statistic that should jump out at potential buyers is Identive's quarterly revenue growth which was reported as +75%, year-over-year, in its last income statement. With a 52-week range of $1.29 to $3.00, consider adding INVE to your buy list.

RAE Systems Inc. (RAE)

RAE Systems Inc. ( RAE) might not be a household name, but in its industry it is known for manufacturing multi-sensor chemical and radiation detection monitors as well as wireless networks. Since mid August, this penny stock has posted a gain of +131%, compared to much smaller gains by the broader markets. RAE also has the potential to post quick gains, as evidenced by its +42% climb in just three days in September. A quarterly revenue growth of +25%, year-over-year, should make RAE an even more attractive penny stock.

Valence Technology (VLNC)

A manufacturer and seller of electronic energy systems, Valence Technology ( VLNC) is another penny stock worth close attention. Over the past 12 months, VLNC has jumped +82%, and the penny stock is up +75% in the last six months. Potential buyers might double take when they realize that in its last income statement Valence reported a quarterly revenue growth of +278%, year-over-year! Despite cooling off over the past month, Needham & Company has maintained their position of buy on VLNC, and you should too.

Active Power Inc. (ACPW)

Active Power Inc. ( ACPW) manufactures uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems to ensure continuous electricity in the event of power disturbances. Or in other words, back-ups and generators. In the last year, ACPW has gained a staggering +149%, compared to a gain of just +28% for the NASDAQ. Like other stocks on this list, ACPW's last quarterly revenue growth figures were impressive at +116%, year-over-year. ACPW may be considered a small cap with a market cap of just 188 million, but with its yearly stock performance, Active Power Inc. should be more well known among investors.

  • Related Articles: 12 Best and Worst Energy Stocks
  • 8x8 Inc. (EGHT)

    Topping off the list of top penny stocks to buy is 8x8 Inc. ( EGHT), developer and marketer of telecommunications services for Internet protocol (IP), telephony/video applications, and Web-based conferencing services. Since September, EGHT is up and impressive +86%. It is also important to note that analysts are projecting earnings of 4 cents this quarter, when the company posted EPS of just 2 cents this quarter last year. Two cents may not be a huge discrepancy, but when a company is doubling its earnings, it is doing something right. Finally, EGHT posted the highest net profit margin of any company on this list with +8% last quarter.

    >To see these stocks in action, visit the 6 Hot Penny Tech Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
  • Related Article: 11 Mega Cap Blue Chip Stocks to Sell
  • As of this writing, Louis Navellier did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.

    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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