The Boring Bull: A Look Back at 2013

Posted On February 11, 2014 | by AllenCaron

top small cap stocks bullCalling it “one for the record books,” author Ben Rooney at CNN Money toed the line of calling 2013 a “boring” year for stocks, even as the bull market surged on. The year’s bull market did indeed come along with many highs along with a relatively calm market – the Dow only rose more than 1.5% on three days (as opposed to 14 days in 2012).

Amidst the smooth seas of 2013, small cap stocks rose and fell accordingly – and we were able to watch some winners begin their ascent. Though they may not have been the very best small cap stocks, here are the top 5 movers that we covered in 2013:

When we initially covered Melville, NY-based Fonar Corporation (Nasdaq:FONR), a medical imaging manufacturer and service provider, on July 29th, 2013, the company was doing well and had just announced its Medserena Upright Imaging Center in London. Until October, the company’s stock prices hovered between $5 and $6. The company took off in Q4 after announcing their Q3 earnings. A focus on their services division in 2013 helped the company’s stock grow more than 389 percent in 2013, closing at $21.208 for the year, up from $4.32 at 2012 year end. FONR closed February 10 at $18.45, down $0.41, with a market cap of $120.85. Its 52-week trading range is $5.10 – $27.95

Stamford, CT-based Revolution Lighting Technologies Inc (Nasdaq:RVLT), an industrial LED provider, started taking off in Q2. Even after a slight drop through August 2013, they closed the year at $3.43, up 404 percent compared to their closing price on December 31, 2012. We first covered the company in April 2013 alongside other LED lighting companies. A string of acquisitions in 2013 helped the company rise to the top. RVLT closed February 10 at $3.29, up $0.26, with a market cap of $275.51 million. Its 52-week trading range is $0.90 – $5.50.

The last time we covered it, the company was barely trading at $0.08. Today, Sarver, PA-based Geospatial Corp (OTCMKTS:GSPH), an oil pipeline management service company, is trading at nearly 80 cents a share. The company jumped more than 620 percent in 2013, closing December 31, 2013 at $0.72 up from $0.12 on December 31, 2012. On February 10, GSPH closed at $0.74, up $0.01, with a market cap of $32.63 million. Its 52-week trading range is $0.06 – $1.08.

Ontario, Canada-based Canadian Solar Inc (Nasdaq:CSIQ), a solar panel and module manufacturer, had a slow but steady rise in 2013, spurred on by the growth of the solar energy industry as a whole. Alternative energy had a “blockbuster year,” and CSIQ led the pack, growing more than 708 percent in 2013, closing at $29.82 for the year. We’ve covered CSIQ many times in the past, most recently in May 2013. Then, the company was trading at just over $5. On February 10, CSIQ closed at $39.12, down $0.16 for the day, with a market cap of $1.64 billion. Its 52-week trading range is $3.12 – $43.60.

The true standout small cap stock of 2013 grew nearly 900 percent over the course of the year, moving from $0.44 on December 31, 2012 to $5.34 on December 31, 2013. As we explained back in May of 2013, tech stocks were nearing a 7-year low. One of the stocks we covered was Oakland, CA-based Zhone Technologies Inc (Nasdaq:ZHNE), which designs and manufactures communications networks equipment for telecommunications, wireless and cable operators worldwide. It helps companies migrate from traditional circuit-based networks to packet-based networks using fiber-based access lines. On May 2, 2013, when we last covered the company, they were trading under $1. On February 10, ZHNE closed at $3.92, up $0.05. Its market cap is $125.90 million, and its 52-week trading range is $0.62 – $6.62.

And our honorable mentions? These small cap companies were right up there with the best small cap stocks we covered in 2013, but didn’t quite make the cut:

Plug Power Inc (Nasdaq:PLUG), up ~326%

Blur Group plc (LON:BLUR), up ~318%

SolarCity corp (Nasdaq:SCTY), up ~310%

SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq:SPWR), up ~296%

Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE), up ~256%

Jammin Java Corp (OTCMKTS:JAMN), up ~211%

2013 may have been a “boring bull,” but as these small cap stocks prove, even when the market is “boring,” there are still gems to be found. Top small cap stocks can be found in a variety of sectors, from solar energy to telecommunications and even lighting.

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