Ambarella (AMBA) -- Up 204 percent in 2013
We live in visual times, and Ambarella is cashing in by providing gadget makers with video chip solutions that provide high-def imagery. Ambarella isn't a household name, but its chips can be found in GoPro wearable camcorders and Dropcam surveillance cameras.
Ambarella also recently announced that it's working with Google (GOOG) on a wearable computing product. Ambarella has a knack for lining up with winners, and that's been paying off.
Zillow (Z) -- Up 195 percent in 2013
The rebound in the real estate market has breathed new life into websites that help potential buyers sort through available properties. Zillow's market-leading app and website have proven magnetic, and that naturally draws the sellers and real estate pros interested in reaching the home seekers.
Analysts don't see the party ending anytime soon. They predict Zillow's revenue will climb another 45 percent in 2014. RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney kicked off the year by issuing a bullish note on Zillow, boosting his price target on the shares from $90 to $100.
Clearly it's a buyer's market on Zillow.
3D Systems (DDD) -- Up 161 percent in 2013.
Few technologies have been as captivating as 3-D printing, and 3D Systems is a niche leader.
Unlike many of the upstarts in this promising field, 3D Systems is already ringing up plenty of sales and cranking out healthy profits.
LifeLock (LOCK) -- Up 102 percent in 2013.
Identity theft is a big problem, and LifeLock is the leading service that monitors credit usage and requests. LifeLock closed out its latest quarter with 2.9 million subscribers paying an average of $10.48 a month for its premium offering. This is a healthy 21 percent increase over the past year, but this isn't a fluke. LifeLock has closed out every passing quarter with a sequential uptick in subscribers for 34 consecutive periods.
Yes, it's unfortunate that LifeLock is shooting fish in a barrel. But we're a paranoid lot, and when we hear that 40 million Target transactions were compromised by hackers this holiday shopping season, it's no surprise to find folks racing into LifeLock's open arms.
Groupon (GRPN) -- Up 142 percent in 2013.
The leading provider of daily deals has stormed back after its disastrous IPO. Groupon's still far removed from its $20 IPO price, but it may get back there soon if its initiatives to grow beyond providing local restaurant, spa, and experience vouchers take off.
Then again, even Groupon's original flash sales are starting to grow again. Wall Street see revenue climbing 15 percent this year with profitability climbing even faster. Groupon's moves to expand into discounted merchandise sales and different kind of coupons are apparently winning over the thrifty -- and it's hard to bet against that kind of momentum.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Ambarella and LifeLock. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems, Ambarella, Google, and Zillow. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems, Ambarella, Google, and Zillow and has the following options: short January 2014 $20 puts on 3D Systems. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.