9 Penny Stock Picks Under $3

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Penny stock investing doesn't have to involve super risky stocks that can erase your retirement money. Penny stock recommendations also can encapsulate low-priced stocks that are more stable, trading at bargain prices and low valuations. These bargain investments trade for between $1 and $3 - very cheap compared to traditional equities. Though they are not trading for a few cents like some penny stock recommendations, these stocks are worth the extra share price because they have added stability.

But to be sure, these low priced stocks are still very aggressive. That's because the biggest appeal of penny stocks to most investors is the ability for a stock to double quickly and deliver huger returns.

Here are 9 pricey penny stock recommendations from this week for investors looking for low-priced picks with the ability to surge, but more stable companies that won't collapse overnight.

Abraxas Petroleum Corp. ( AXAS )

Industry: Oil, gas and consumable fuels

Market Cap: $207.4 million

This San Antonio based independent energy company is primarily engaged in the production of oil and gas. Abraxas Petroleum Corp ( AXAS ) has recently seen tremendous growth, and is up +57.3% since April.  While other larger oil companies have fallen on hard times, Abraxas has continued to improve, and currently holds a stock price of $3.01.  This penny stock has vastly outperformed the broader markets like Dow Jones Industrial average and the S&P, which are down -2.3% and -3.2% on the year, respectively.

Axcelis Technologies Inc. ( ACLS )

Industry: Semiconductors and semiconductor equipment

Market Cap: $164.5 million

Penny Stock Axcelis Technologies Inc. ( ACLS ) designs, manufactures and services the semiconductor chips used by big-name technology companies like IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments and Samsung Electronics.  Based in Boston's North Shore, this technology company has seen a +22% increase since January, and currently boasts a modest stock price of $1.71.  With the introduction of a new energy implanter in late June, Axcelis has its clients excited for higher productivity and lower costs, which should only improve the stock's value.

Emmis Communication Corp. ( EMMS )

Industry: Media

Market Cap: $82.7 million

Emmis Communication Corp. ( EMMS ) is a media company primarily focused on radio broadcasting.  This penny stock owns and operates numerous AM and FM radio stations in major U.S. cities including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.  Additionally, this media company owns numerous magazines including Texas Monthly , Los Angeles Monthly and Atlanta Monthly , among others. Emmis Communication's stock has made tremendous strides in the last several months, and is up 94% since April.  While other media companies are struggling in the radio and print industries, Emmis is clearly thriving.

Gray Television Inc. ( GTN )

Industry: Media

Market Cap: $164.5 million

Gray Television Inc ( GTN ) owns 36 television stations in 30 separate television markets across the U.S. This Atlanta based media company works with several major affiliates including NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX, and has also seen large gains in 2010.  Since January, this penny stock is up 66.7%, and has a current price of $2.50 per share.  Additionally, Gray Television has outperformed earnings estimates three of the last four quarters, and looks to continue its success in the next quarter.

ICO Global Communications Holdings Ltd. ( ICOG )

Industry: Wireless telecommunication services

Market Cap: $405.6 million

Wireless telecommunication service provider ICO Global Communications Holdings Ltd. ( ICOG ) is a development stage mobile satellite service operator.  Despite the fact that ICO has not been able to complete any additional satellites since December 2004, the penny stock has one satellite in orbit, and 10 satellites currently in the production stage.  ICO has seen a 58.3% increase in stock price during 2010, and is currently selling at a price of $1.72.

Joe's Jeans Inc. (JOEZ)

Industry: Textiles Apparel and luxury goods

Market Cap: $119.4 million

Joe's Jeans Inc. ( JOEZ ) is involved in the developing, marketing and design of its Joe's products, which include denim jeans, casual wear and accessories.  Joe's sells its products through department stores, specialty retailers, distributors and its own retail stores worldwide.  This penny stock has seen a rise of +68.2% since the start of 2010 and has outperformed earnings estimates two of the last four quarters.  Joe's is a unique retailer in that it provides "luxury" denim products, at a price much lower than other luxury denim competitors.

LTX-Credence Corp. (LTXC)

Industry: Semiconductors and semiconductor equipment

Market Cap: $395.0 million

LTX-Credence Corp. ( LTXC ) designs, produces and markets automated semiconductor test equipment.  Its equipment is used for testing various technological products including cable modems, cell phones, PDAs, televisions, digital cameras and automotive electronics.  The product of a 2008 merger between LTX Corp. and Credence Systems Corporation, this penny stock has fared well in 2010, up +69.1% since January.  Having outperformed earnings estimates each of the last four quarters, LTX-Credence Corp is looking for another strong showing this earnings season.

Network Engines Inc. (NENG)

Industry: Communications equipment

Market Cap: $110.8 million

Communications equipment company Network Engines Inc. ( NENG ), produces server-based platforms and appliance solutions for information technology networks.  Based in Canton, Mass., this penny stock has seen a major rise in 2010, up $1.46, and increase of nearly +109%.  Likewise, Network Engines has doubled earnings estimates for the past two quarters, and should remain a strong stock after its June announcement regarding the completion of a new frame solution which will support 4G apps.

Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (TSEM)

Industry: Semiconductors and semiconductor equipment

Market Cap: $274.6 million

Tower Semiconductor Ltd. ( TSEM ) is involved with the manufacturing and design of semiconductors.  In addition to producing semiconductors for its clients, this penny stock also provides design and technical services for its customers.  Having outperformed earnings estimates by 367% in the last quarter, Tower Semiconductor is up +42.3% since January.   Analysts are also estimating that Tower's revenue will continue to grow next quarter, as a $5 million revenue increase is projected.

Vonage Holdings Corp. (VG)

Industry: Diversified telecommunication services

Market Cap: $457.2 million

Voice and messaging service company Vonage Holdings Corp. ( VG ) uses broadband networks to provide its customers with their telephone service.  With the 2009 offering of Vonage World Mobile, customers can place calls to 60 different countries for a monthly flat rate of $24.99.  This penny stock also provides residential services to its customers, and offers discount rates for bundling mobile and residential services.  Since January, Vonage's stock is up $1.04, representing an increase of +74.3%.  The fact that its mobile calling application is available for the iPhone and Blackberry makes Vonage a very strong penny stock at the moment.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ACLS , AXAS , EMMS , GTN , ICOG

Louis Navellier

Louis Navellier

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