5. eResearchTechnology ( ERT)

Company profile: eResearchTechnology, with a market value of $338 million, provides technology and services that enable the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries to collect, interpret, and distribute data.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 44% this year, 50% over the past three months, and have a three-year, average annual return of 12.5%.

Analysts give its shares four "buy" ratings, two "buy/holds," and one "hold," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. The company reported record revenue of $185 million for fiscal 2011 versus $141 million last year. Net income was 28 cents per share versus 20 cents last year.

4. TransGlobe Energy ( TGA)

Company profile: TransGlobe Energy, with a market value of $845 million, is a Canadian oil and gas exploration and production company, with interests in Canada, Yemen, and Egypt.

Investor takeaway: TransGlobe's shares are up 48% this year, 52% over the past three months, and have a three-year, average annual return of 64%.

Analysts give its shares one "buy" rating, one "buy/hold," and one "hold," according to S&P. Last week, the company reported 2011 that net earnings rose 101% to $81.4 million, or $1.09 per share, which includes an 18% share gain on an acquisition.

3. Cirrus Logic ( CRUS)

Company profile: Cirrus Logic with a market value of $1.5 billion, develops high-precision analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for a range of consumer and industrial markets.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 50% this year, 42% over the past three months, and have a three-year, average annual return of 96%. Analysts give its shares four "buy" ratings and one "hold," according to a survey of analysts by S&P.

For fiscal 2012, analysts estimate it will earn $1.25 per share and that earnings will grow by 27% to 1.59 per share in 2013. Earnings are choppy, as is the semiconductor industry. In 2011, it earned $2.82 per share contributing to a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of a very low 9.8.

2. EZChip Semiconductor ( EZCH)

Company profile: EZChip Semiconductor, with a market value of $1 billion, develops and sells Ethernet network processors for networking equipment, including hardware and software.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 51% this year, 44% in the past three months, and have a three-year, average annual return of 61%. Analysts give its shares three "buy" ratings, three "buy/holds," and three "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. In 2011, it earned $8 million, or 28 cents per share.

1. Fuel Systems Solutions ( FSYS)

Company profile: Fuel Systems, with a market value of $514 million, makes alternative fuel components and systems for use in the transportation, industrial, and power generation markets. Its systems allow internal combustion engines to operate on natural gas or propane.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 56% this year, including a 46% gain in the past three months, and have a three-year, average annual return of 30%.

Analysts give its shares two "buy" ratings, one "buy/holds," four "holds," and one "weak hold," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. Analysts estimate its earnings will grow 117% to 78 cents per share in fiscal 2012.

Fuel Systems said it expects strong second-half revenues on rising international demand. Last week it forecast 2012 revenue of between $420 million and $440 million, while analysts' consensus estimate is for $437.3 million. The company said it expects continued growth in European aftermarket products and strong demand in India, Thailand, China and Latin America in the second half of 2012.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 10 Small-Cap Stocks Poised to Rise, History Shows portfolio on Stockpickr.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

If you liked this article you might like

Cramer -- Shun Sears, Delta; Nike Beats Under Armour (Unless Curry Finds His Shot)

Cramer: Strong Dollar Means Own Stocks Like UnitedHealth, Humana

Perilous Reversal Stock: Bio-Reference Laboratories (BRLI)

Bio-Reference Labs (BRLI) Stock Gains on Acquisition Despite Earnings Miss

Change at the Top for Two Banks; High Hopes for Cisco