5 Stocks Under $10 Worth Buying

If you've got ten bucks, I have some stock ideas for you.

I've been singling out attractive opportunities in low-priced stocks since my original "10 Stocks Under $10" column a dozen years ago, and I've seen plenty of stocks with pocket change prices generate incredible gains.

There are risks, and they are readily apparent given the recent volatility. There are often good reasons for stocks to be ignored or beaten down. However, a market rally can work wonders for the unloved with positive catalysts in their pockets.


Let's go over my five picks from March 2009 -- when low-priced stocks bottomed out -- to prove my point.

Company 

May 17, 2013

March 13, 2009

Gain

Sirius XM Radio 

$3.50

$0.198

1,668%

Bare Escentuals*

$18.20

$3.66

397%

Focus Media

$27.38

$5.74

377%

Geron 

$1.12

$4.36

(74%)

Ford 

$15.08

$2.19

589%

*Bare Escentuals was acquired for $18.20 a share in 2010.

The average gain of 591% in four years is pretty remarkable.

Even with Geron crashing as the lone stinker, the other four multibaggers have easily trounced the market by excelling in satellite radio, cars, and Chinese advertising.

Let's go over this month's picks.

Millennial Media -- $8.01
Smartphones are soaring in popularity, and Millennial Media is in the right place at the right time. The leading independent mobile advertising platform provider allows app makers to cash in on their programs with display ads across all operating systems.

As you can imagine, this is a hot industry. Millennial Media posted a 50% spike in revenue for its latest quarter earlier this month. The challenge for Millennial Media has been to remain consistently profitable.

Analysts expect that to change during the second half of this year. Wall Street's betting on a modest profit of $0.14 a share this year bumping up to earnings of $0.42 a share next year. Millennial Media is growing quickly. It just entered the Japanese market last week. It's cheap at a forward earnings multiple in the high teens.

Brocade  -- $5.54
Last week didn't work out so well for the networking storage specialist.

Brocade posted better-than-expected earnings, but coming in a little light on the top line and providing uninspiring guidance was a deal breaker for Mr. Market. RW Baird stepped in with a downgrade following the report, which may have felt cruel since Brocade had presented at a Baird tech conference just the week before.

The good news here is that Brocade is still very profitable. Revenue growth may be hard to come by these days, but Brocade's still delivering healthy margins as it trades at an earnings multiple in the single digits. 

ZAGG -- $5.03

Shares of ZAGG were destroyed three weeks ago, and deservedly so.

The company behind the invisibleSHIELD protective smarpthone and tablet covering stunned the market with a dreadful quarterly report. Wall Street was betting on a 20% pop in revenue. ZAGG came through with a 7% decline. Analysts were holding out for $0.21 a share. ZAGG earned half as much.

The damage has been done. Now it's time to assess ZAGG's value in light of its weaker fundamentals. The stock has fallen a lot harder than profit projections, leaving ZAGG an intriguing value for bottom-feeders here at seven times this year's expecting earnings and just six times next year's call.

With the company armed with an arsenal of third-party accessories for the mobile market, the best time to buy into ZAGG is when it's out of favor.

Spoiler alert: ZAGG is out of favor.

ARMOUR Residential REIT -- $6.02
A popular misconception is that investor appetite for yield in this low interest rate environment has sent high-yielding master limited partnerships, REITs, and business development companies to lofty valuations.

It may be true in a lot of cases, but it doesn't apply to ARMOUR, a mortgage-based REIT that emphasizes adjusted rate instruments. ARMOUR sports a nearly 14% yield, and it's trading for just five times this year's projected profitability.

There are some valid reasons for ARMOUR being one of the few REITs trading lower over the past year. Since moving to a monthly dividend of $0.12 a share two years ago, it has come through with five rate decreases. Investors are now receiving $0.07 a share every month.

ARMOUR is also expected to post lower earnings this year, possibly pressuring the REIT into another dividend cut. Oh, and it has also missed Wall Street profit targets in each of the past three quarters, so analysts have actually proven to be too optimistic in assessing ARMOUR's financial performance.

However, worrywarts bracing for another payout cut have bid the stock below book value. It's not that bad here. Despite the first quarter's lower-than-expected results, ARMOUR is still generating annualized ROE of 13.8% from taxable REIT income. With analysts seeing the earnings deterioration stabilize next year, we could be nearing the end of the distribution cuts.

NovaGold Resources -- $2.13
Shares of NovaGold tumbled 15% last week, but there wasn't any company-specific news behind the slide. Many of the precious metals companies suffered double-digit percentage hits as gold, silver, and copper prices continue to head lower.

If Millennial Media is unloved despite being in the right place at the right time, NovaGold is out of favor because it's in the wrong place at the wrong time.

NovaGold didn't help its case last month when it posted a larger quarterly deficit than Wall Street was expecting, and that's the third period in a row that the gold miner has come up short on the bottom line.

I have never fancied myself a gold bug, and I can name several fellow Fools who know the industry far better than I ever will. However, I do know that the smart move was to bail several months ago when everyone was talking up commodities and every other ad seemed to be for a service buying back gold. Now that speculators have turned away from precious metals, wouldn't that make this a good time for contrarians to buy back in?

Five for the road
These five stocks aren't trading in the single digits by accident. If I'm right about the catalysts, though, they may not be trading in the single digits for too much longer.

Finding promising stocks while they're still cutting their baby teeth is at the heart of the Rule Breakers newsletter that I write for. You can check it out for free this month with a 30-day trial subscription. There are roughly a half dozen active stock recommendations in the growth stock research service trading for less than $10 at the moment. Check those out, and I'll be back with more on the third Monday of next month.

Want another stock idea? The amount of data we store every year is growing by a mind-boggling 60% annually! To make sense of this trend and pick out a winner, The Motley Fool has compiled a new report called "The Only Stock You Need to Profit From the NEW Technology Revolution." The report highlights a company that has gained 300% since first recommended by Fool analysts but still has plenty of room left to run. To get instant access to the name of this company transforming the IT industry, click here -- it's free.

The article 5 Stocks Under $10 Worth Buying originally appeared on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Ford and Millennial Media. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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