First, some ground rules. Companies had to have some relevance to Light Reading, although consideration also extended to the universes of our sister sites, Byte and Switch, Unstrung, and Dark Reading.
To qualify, a stock had to start the year priced higher than $1, adjusted for splits. That keeps penny stocks from dominating the list and lets us stop having to care what happens to McLeodUSA Inc. (Nasdaq: MCLD) shares. As a bonus, it's also put Digital Lightwave Inc. out of contention, at long last.
The stock also had to survive the year intact, so bankruptcies and liquidations don't count. Acquired companies are also out of the running, although it's worth noting RSA Security Inc. (Nasdaq: EMC) stock managed to climb 150 percent on the year before the company was snatched up by EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC). (See EMC Secures RSA for $2.1B.)
Of course, the time frame itself is arbitrary and doesn't fully describe a company's current state. Take a look at Carrier Access Corp. (Nasdaq: CACS) -- up 36 percent for the year, but down 20 percent for the past six months or so.
So, on with the list. And for those keeping score at home, the previous editions can be found here: 2005 Top Ten: Stock Gains and Pains, 2004 Top Ten: Stock Gains & Pains, and 2003 Top Ten: Explosions & Implosions.
As often happens, a standout year depended on having a lousy prior year. Our percentage-growth ranking does favor the smaller stocks, so it's worth noting that some better known names saw pretty good growth in 2006. The honorable mention includes:
- Broadwing Corp. (Nasdaq: BWNG), up 159 percent
- Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM), up 174 percent
- Cogent Communications Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: CCOI), up 191 percent
- LanOptics Ltd. (Nasdaq: EZCH) (parent to EZchip Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: EZCH)), up 167 percent
- Cbeyond Communications (Nasdaq: CBEY), up 202 percent
- Jan. 1, 2006, price: $11.25
Dec. 28, 2006, price: $35.70
Savvis isn't done remaking itself, either. Just this week, the company announced the sale of its content delivery networking business to Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), bringing in money that will go toward building four new data centers. (See Level 3 Spends $135M on Savvis CDN.)
Level 3 to Buy CDN
Will Savvis Sell Its CDN?
Savvis Director Resigns
Savvis Lands CBS
Savvis Completes Phase 1
Savvis Elects Chairman
Savvis Appoints New CEO
Continue to Page Two