5 Best-Performing Stocks Under $5

by: Vatalyst

Five dollars doesn’t get you much these days. Except maybe ownership of an industry leader or two that’s set to take off for the skies. Take a look at these five stocks and decide for yourself:

Midway Gold Corp (NYSEMKT:MDW) – With the shift in investment decisions towards silver and gold, one mining company that benefitted from this transition is Midway, with major drilling operations in Nevada. For one thing, the share price has increased by nearly four times from one year ago. However, like all mining companies, return on investment is not realized immediately. Midway is in the process of switching from exploration to extraction, in line with recent developments in the Nevada drilling projects as disclosed in recent RNS announcements. Analysts are now betting on the stock to outperform.

The juicy bit here is that Midway is in the process of setting up a joint venture with 5-star rated Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX). Although the unexpected bull-run in the price of gold ended a few weeks ago, there has been a resulting positive effect on the price of silver, which most investors consider a good alternative. One way or another, Midway has positioned itself for better results in the coming years, and was recently added to the Russell 3000 index. With the top executive of the company stocking up on his company’s shares, the direction you’re mostly likely to see is pointing up.

Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ:COOL) – Concurrent with the proliferation of enhancements in gaming platforms, including the ability to reach a broader audience, the video game industry has been one of the surprise performers in 2011. Due to the seasonality effect under this sector, the share price of Majesco has fallen from an average share price of $2.98 between April and August as opposed to its current share price of $2.20 (average of $2.45 from September 1 to date) which coincides with the resumption of grade school. According to one technology advisory firm, the video game industry will pull in $74.4 billion by the end of this year, up by 10.4 percent from last year.

Majesco is one of the smaller players in the industry, currently dominated by big wigs Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Electronic Arts (ERTS). It should also be noted that its games are primarily for the family oriented, mass-market consumer, as opposed to the mature and adult-oriented games offered by the two gaming giants. Accordingly, its game lineups are made for Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) consoles: DS, 3DS, Wii and Wii U. Most recently, Nintendo has been in the press for a dismal financial performance for its consoles; therefore, major opportunities for Majesco lie in the growth of non-console gaming and expanding capabilities of hand held mobile devices.

Hansen Medical, Inc (NASDAQ:HNSN) – Like most growth companies, especially those under the healthcare and medical equipments sector, Hansen has experienced an erratic but generally successful share price performance during 2011. From its continued downfall from the second semester of 2009 until the last quarter of 2010, Hansen posted a year-on-year performance of +186.11 percent, actually surpassing the $4 level only in July 2011 since achieving a similar level in September, 2009.

A day after the CEO’s announcement for the company’s six-month interim results, the share price went dropped 20 percent as a result of an unfavorable market sentiment for marginal performance due to a 24 percent reduction in revenue since the 2010 year-end and 18 percent reduction in cash and cash equivalents since March. Against this backdrop, Hansen has made significant progress on its Magellan Robotic System, which is expected to launch in Europe in the first half of 2012. This is is something shareholders are excited about. A company with a wide range of products in all quadrants of the BCG matrix and a sizable IP portfolio, there has been speculation on a potential takeover.

Level 3 Communications (NASDAQ:LVLT) – There has been stiff competition in the telecom industry as most companies in this sector specialize in one product – optical fiber, so most companies may need to have significant innovations in their products and services, including an acceptable cash flow in order to cope up with telecom titans Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T). In this regard, while there have been notable updates within Level 3’s products, including a partnership with Sidus Data (a wholly owned subsidiary of Yadkin Valley Bank (YAVY) and the launch of a new service for enterprise customers.

The company has had declines in revenues and profitability for the last few years as a result of rising interest rates and a drop in customer subscriptions. Therefore, this raises a concern whether the company would have sufficient resources to maintain the costs of its upcoming projects, as evidenced by further borrowing that LVLT announced last August. Two major transactions over the past four months– the acquisition of Global Crossing (NASDAQ:GLBC) and the issuance of share notes in a private offering – can address this issue head-on, but will ultimately depend on how management can secure new products and services that will influence revenue growth going forward.

8x8, Inc (NASDAQ:EGHT) –A single-source provider of SaaS (software as a service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) business solutions, 8x8 has a definitive business strategy and a share price that has been constantly increasing, as opposed to a generally neutral performance within the communications telecom industry, with its status as one of the largest providers of Voice-Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in the country. As titans Verizon concentrate on video as opposed to landlines, and AT&T directing its strategy towards mobile phones, 8x8 has focused its business towards finding innovation within the VoIP business.

The growth has been further strengthened by the acquisition of Contactual, Inc., with shareholders reacting positively to this transaction (approximately seven percent growth since announcement on 12 September). With this acquisition, EGHT has put in place sufficient tools in anticipation for the call center market, which is moving quickly from the early-adopter stage towards immense growth potential, based on a recent study by consultants Frost & Sullivan. With a share price above its 50-day moving average and a price/sales ratio of 4.09 (as opposed to 2.84 in the sector and 3.49 in the S&P 500 index), 8x8 is shaping up to be a very good investment with probable growth prospects.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.