Market Overview

Momentum Trading: These 6 Stocks Are Up More Than 50% Already in 2012


As the first month of the new year draws to a close, which stocks are showing the most momentum in the market? Benzinga has identified 6 names that are up over 50% already in 2012 and could be set to double or even triple by the end of the year. While a strong first month is a good sign, these stocks may also be of interest to short-sellers looking to make a bet that the huge gains will be followed by sharp pullbacks. In any event, these 6 stocks have seen significant bullish activity in January and traders may want to add them to their watchlist.

E-Commerce China Dangdang (NYSE: DANG) - No matter how you measure it, this stock has been a disaster since going public in December 2010 to much fanfare. Billed as the " of China," E-Commerce China Dangdang's IPO was a success, but the stock has subsequently cratered. Since its first day of trading, DANG has lost around 77%. The company currently has a market cap of only $600 million. Nevertheless, things may be turning around for DANG which has seen its share price soar 72% during the first month of the year. Given the stock's poor performance, however, and the minefield that is investing in Chinese small-caps, DANG should be viewed as a speculative play.

Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) - This is a biotech stock with a very colorful history. Shares were absolutely decimated last August, falling 70% overnight, after the company pulled its sales forecast for its cancer drug Provenge and said that sales did not meet projections. Initially DNDN had projected that Provenge would post annual revenue of $350 million to $400 million in 2011, but in pulling their guidance, Dendreon said that they wouldn't even be close to achieving those figures.

On January 5th, the company released its Q4 earnings results and surprised disheartened investors by posting much stronger than expected Provenge sales. For the year, DNDN reported Provenge revenue of $228 million, which was still way below initial guidance, but hardly as bad as what was feared back in August when the company pulled its guidance. As a result, the stock has been rallying throughout January as investors recalibrate their expectations for 2012 Provenge revenue. So far this month, DNDN's stock has risen 93% and it is possible that it could see more gains. Prior to last August's guidance debacle, which caused many on the Street to lose faith in the company, DNDN traded at around $35.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IDIX) - This biotech company's strong month can be traced back to positive interim data from a clinical trial of its lead hepatitis C drug candidate which was released on January 9. The announcement initially sent shares soaring as much as 45%, and the stock has not looked back. In fact, it has continued to run higher. Shares have appreciated around 90% in January and Idenix currently has a market cap of $1.36 billion. The company's drug candidate, IDX184, "demonstrated potent antiviral activity in both preclinical and clinical studies" in a Phase 2B clinical trial, according to the Wall Street Journal. In addition to its lead drug candidate, Idenix is also planning trials for a number of other potential hepatitis C treatments. The stock gained 200% over the last year and is sitting near multi-year highs.

U.S. Airways (NYSE: LCC) - This stock was already having a strong month when it rallied more than 17% on Wednesday after reporting better than expected earnings results. Shares have continued to move higher on Thursday and Friday. As a result, LCC has appreciated a little more than 60% in 2012 already. A look at a longer term chart reveals that the stock has convincingly broken a downtrend which began in November 2010 and is moving aggressively higher. Despite the already impressive gains in January, this name could continue to surge. Shares are still down more than 26% over the last year and appear to be gaining momentum as a result of this week's bullish earnings report.

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) - Like some of the other companies on this list, Netflix had a rather interesting 2011. After surging during the first part of the year, NFLX registered a memorable collapse, falling from a high above $300 to a low of $62.37 in a matter of months amid price hikes and an aborted attempt to split the company's DVD delivery and streaming services. It was an epic implosion, which a number of prominent short-sellers predicted. Things may be turning around at Netflix, however, and the dramatic sell-off appears to have been overdone.

The company reported Q4 earnings which were way ahead of Street estimates on Wednesday, and the stock, which was already moving strongly higher on increased optimism, has tacked on roughly $27 over the last couple of days. All told, NFLX shares are up more than 77% since the beginning of the year and could still be undervalued given the company's strong brand recognition and first mover advantage in the streaming content business.

Terex (NYSE: TEX) - This stock also had a rough 2011 but has convincingly broken its downtrend. Over the last year, shares have lost more than 35%, but in the first month of 2012, TEX has surged more than 55%. Analysts have been upgrading the name and aggressively raising earnings estimates. Terex appears to be riding a wave of improved investor sentiment and a pick up in the global economy should help the company, which is a manufacturer of a diversified line of machinery products. Over the last two weeks, TEX was upgraded to Buy at KeyBanc Capital Markets and Robert W. Baird, and given the stock's current trajectory, TEX could be a solid bet in 2012.

Looking for more ideas? In addition to the companies highlighted here, the following stocks have also registered gains of better than 50% so far this year.

Golden Minerals Company (NASDAQ: AUMN)

Georgia Gulf Corp. (NYSE: GGC)

Inhibitex (NASDAQ: INHX)

IPG Photonics Corp. (NASDAQ: IPGP)

Micromet (NASDAQ: MITI)

National Bank of Greece (NYSE: NBG)

Spanish Broadcasting System (NASDAQ: SBSA)

Timmins Gold Corp. (NYSE:TGD)

US Gold Corp. (NYSE: UXG)

Venoco, Inc. (NYSE: VQ)

Posted-In: Long Ideas Short Ideas Small Cap Analysis Technicals Intraday Update Markets Movers Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga


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