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When I signed on as a SeekingAlpha contributor two years ago, my mission was to present investors with ideas that represented relatively low risk and relatively high return. Over the past six months, I have narrowed my focus, zeroing in on stocks that I believe are poised to triple. Both strategies have proven very successful.

In this article I will provide an update on which companies are still poised to triple and those that are not. Let's start by reviewing a complete list of my SeekingAlpha initiation pieces:

As of April 14, 2011
Date
Article
Company
Ticker
3/20/11
Pervasive Software Shares Are Poised to Triple
Pervasive Software
11/12/10
Quepasa Could Be Set to Triple
Quepasa.com
QPSA
11/12/10
Astea's Shares Could Be Set to Triple
Astea Software
10/24/10
Zhone's Shares Look Set to Triple
Zhone Technologies
9/19/10
Calix to Buy Occam: Time to Buy Calix?
Calix, Inc.
8/15/10
Small Cap Ideas as the Market Drops
Occam Networks
8/15/10
Small Cap Ideas as the Market Drops
I-Go, Inc.
8/15/10
Small Cap Ideas as the Market Drops
Magma Design
5/21/10
How to Make Money During Market Corrections: M&A Plays
Novell, Inc.
5/21/10
How to Make Money During Market Corrections: M&A Plays
DoubleTake Software
2/17/10
RealNetworks: Exceptional Value at Current Levels
RealNetworks, Inc.
2/8/10
BroadVision: Profitable, But Selling for Less than Cash
BroadVision, Inc.
1/22/10
Voltaire: Set to Benefit from IBM's Server Sales
Voltaire
1/20/09
Lionbridge: Small Cap Value Showing Strong Earnings Growth
Lionbridge

On average, the 14 stocks highlighted above have performed very well:

Peak Returns
As of April 14, 2011
Ticker
Initial Price
NASDAQ
Subsequent High
NASDAQ High
Peak Return
NASDAQ Peak
Delta
PVSW
5.36
2665.54
7.16
2,799.82
34%
3%
30%
QPSA
6.58
2534.24
15.45
2,799.82
135%
9%
126%
ATEA
2.25
2534.24
7.64
2,799.82
240%
9%
231%
ZHNE
2.01
2461.6
3.24
2,799.82
61%
12%
49%
CALX
12.45
2318.42
22.53
2,799.82
81%
19%
62%
OCNW
5.41
2183.09
9.84
2,799.82
82%
26%
56%
IGOI
1.56
2183.09
5.19
2,799.82
233%
26%
206%
LAVA
2.77
2183.09
6.84
2,799.82
147%
26%
121%
NOVL
6.06
2245.56
6.53
2,799.82
8%
23%
-15%
DBTK
10.28
2245.56
10.55
2,799.82
3%
23%
-20%
RNWK
4.48
2200.38
5.41
2,799.82
21%
25%
-5%
BVSN
12.64
2131.92
14.50
2,799.82
15%
29%
-15%
VOLT
6.10
2298.23
8.73
2,799.82
43%
20%
23%
LIOX
1.23
1532.47
6.21
2,799.82
405%
80%
325%
Averages
-
-
-
-
108%
24%
84%

As you can see, the peak returns for 10 of the 14 stocks have bested the NASDAQ (NASDAQ:QQQ)by a wide margin. Two of the remaining four were acquired long ago making comparisons to the NASDAQ irrelevant (FYI, both were acquired at a healthy premium). Despite the high peak returns for most of the remaining stocks, many remain undervalued while others have pulled back offering a good opportunity for entry (or reentry). Here's how the stocks are faring at present:

Current Returns
As of April 14, 2011
Ticker
Current Price
NASDAQ
Return To Date
NASDAQ
Delta
PVSW
6.56
2760.22
22%
4%
19%
QPSA
5.57
2760.22
-15%
9%
-24%
ATEA
6.70
2760.22
198%
9%
189%
ZHNE
2.37
2760.22
18%
12%
6%
CALX
19.74
2760.22
59%
19%
39%
OCNW
9.84
2760.22
82%
26%
55%
IGOI
2.45
2760.22
57%
26%
31%
LAVA
6.61
2760.22
139%
26%
112%
NOVL
6.05
2760.22
0%
23%
-23%
DBTK
10.55
2760.22
3%
23%
-20%
RNWK
3.58
2760.22
-20%
25%
-46%
BVSN
13.36
2760.22
6%
29%
-24%
VOLT
8.73
2760.22
43%
20%
23%
LIOX
3.56
2760.22
189%
80%
109%
Averages
-
-
56%
24%
32%

Typically, my picks are meant to carry a 12 to 18 month timeframe. As such, I’m still excited about the prospects for most of the stocks highlighted above. Notable exceptions include the following:
  • Astea (NASDAQ:ATEA) – ATEA shares fulfilled my predicted destiny when the company reported exceptional Q4 results. Having tripled, cashing in was/is the prudent move.
  • Lionbridge (NASDAQ:LIOX) – A few quarters ago, LIOX’s business cycle peaked out, in my opinion…but not before the stock became a five bagger. I'll be happy to reacquire the stock when its business cycle appears ready to ramp up again.
  • Magma Design (NASDAQ:LAVA) – In my opinion, Magma remains a healthy company with good prospects for growth. However, in my initial write-up I spoke of the stock's potential to double. Since that time, the shares have risen by 139% (and as much as 147%). Mission accomplished -- on to greener pastures.
  • DoubleTake (DBTK), Novell (NASDAQ:NOVL), Occam Networks (OCNW), and Voltaire (OTC:VOLT) – These four companies have been acquired (a 29% hit rate on the complete list of 14). NOVL’s deal is awaiting closure, but DBTK, OCNW, and VOLT are now officially a part of larger entities and no longer trade on the stock market.
As for the remaining 7 stocks, here are my latest thoughts:
  • Pervasive Software (NASDAQ:PVSW) – Currently my top pick, Pervasive possesses a perfect combination of characteristics I seek in an investment. The company is relatively unknown and has a strong balance sheet, which gives it a low risk-profile. At the same time, it is entering new product cycles, while simultaneously emerging as a best-of-breed player is not new area. This gives it a very high reward-profile and makes it an extremely attractive acquisition candidate for leading IT vendors like IBM (NYSE:IBM), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), Informatica (NASDAQ:INFA), and Microstrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR).The stock is presently trading in the $6 range, but there are several reasons to believe it could reach $20 before long. For more on PVSW, see Pervasive Software Shares Are Poised to Triple and Why Pervasive's Shares Remain Under the Radar.
  • Quepasa.com (QPSA) – A Hispanic competitor to Facebook, Quepasa.com is the only publicly traded social network of its type. Management has done a great job of attracting registered users, which now number over 30 million.The stock currently trades in the $5 range. If the company successfully leverages its user base to generate higher traffic, QPSA’s valuation will skyrocket, potentially reaching $40 per share. If it fails, the shares could fall into the $2 range (assuming it isn't acquired by another company with better ideas about how to increase traffic or looking to increase market share -- both of which are more likely scenarios). Thus, an investor is risking $3 to potentially make $35. When dealing with a high-risk, high-reward situation these are the kind of odds I like to have on my side.For more information on QPSA, its potential valuation and how much an acquirer might pay, see Quepasa Could Be Set to Triple, Quepasa Shares Still Set to Triple, and Have Quepasa Bears Run Out of Ammunition?.
  • Zhone Technologies (NASDAQ:ZHNE) and Calix, Inc. (NYSE:CALX) – Zhone and Calix are prime beneficiaries of the U.S. government's broadband stimulus program. Their customers have been awarded over $1 billion in funding. These are "use it or lose it" funds and a large portion of these dollars will flow through to ZHNE and CALX regardless of the economic environment. As a result, both companies have guaranteed revenue coming in over the next couple of years (high reward) and offer downside protection against an economic downturn (low risk).
  • ZHNE is the smaller of these two vendors. It currently trades in the $2 range and could easily triple the stimulus dollars flow through its income statement over the next several quarters. CALX is the leading broadband stimulus beneficiary and recently became even bigger by acquiring one of my recent picks, Occam Networks. Its shares offer less excitement than ZHNE, but more liquidity. Currently trading close to $20, CALX’s stimulus-related earnings growth could propel it into the 30s.
  • See Zhone's Shares Look Set to Triple and Calix to Buy Occam: Time to Buy Calix? for more on these two stocks.
  • I-Go, Inc. (OTCPK:IGOI) – With the price of oil going through the roof (witness the skyrocketing prices at the gas pump), energy independence is sure to become an even greater point of emphasis for the Obama administration. IGOI is in the right place at the right time, offering products focused on energy-efficiency. Not only could it gain favor with the U.S. government, its products are already gaining traction with retail giants, like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY). Even more exciting, an R&D relationship with Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) has the potential to place its patented technology in every power outlet in America (and perhaps beyond).If its relationship with TXN fails, IGOI’s balance sheet and core business should limit the downside risk to roughly $1. On the flipside, fulfillment of its potential could literally result in a multibillion dollar market cap, making it more than a 10-bagger from here.For more on IGOI, see Small Cap Ideas as the Market Drops.
  • RealNetworks (NASDAQ:RNWK) – With social networking and the market for smartphones and iPads exploding, software vendors are scrambling to take advantage of the opportunity. The potential is exemplified by video game manufacturers like Zynga (the developers of Farmville), that have experienced meteoric ascents to multibillion dollar valuations virtually overnight. Vendors with a large library of previously successful games are well-positioned to repackage these games for Facebook, smart phones, and tablet devices.RNWK fits this description to a tee. Currently trading in the$3 range, the stock offers investors a high-reward opportunity. Meanwhile, with nearly $3 in net tangible assets, it represents a very low-risk situation. For more on RNWK, see RealNetworks: Exceptional Value at Current Levels.
  • BroadVision (NASDAQ:BVSN) – Like RNWK, Broadvision’s stock price is almost entirely covered by the cash on its balance sheet. A beneficiary of the original Internet boom, BVSN is currently repositioning itself to be a leading provider of social networking software, as well as human resources software into the Chinese market. Success in either of these regards could spark a resurgence in demand for the company's shares.For more on BVSN, see BroadVision: Profitable, But Selling for Less than Cash.
In the coming months, I will continue to provide progress updates on the stocks. I also plan to initiate coverage on several more companies whose shares I believe are poised to triple. Stay tuned.
Source: Eyeing Stocks That Are Poised to Triple