2006 Top Ten: Stock Gains & Pains

The past year was very good to some telecom-related stocks, putting plenty of sunshine into our annual review of the best and worst performers. But even a good year has its down side. Welcome, then, to another run at the top 10 (actually top five) ups and downs among the year's stocks.

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:

None of which was good enough for the top five, which was heavily weighted toward services and transport.

  • 5. Savvis (Nasdaq: SVVS)
      Jan. 1, 2006, price: $11.25
      Dec. 28, 2006, price: $35.70
      Change: +217%
    Hosting is hot, but Savvis brushed up its balance sheet, too, and the combination sent the stock soaring, even after compensating for a 1-for-15 reverse split in June. Investors who stuck around after the stock's early 2005 nose dive should be pleased.

    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.)

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    Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:17:18 PM
    re: 2006 Top Ten: Stock Gains & Pains Each year, I'm wrestling more and more with which companies to include. Apple was always a non-contender, for example, but as they get more into video stuff... who knows? Likewise, Oracle -- they went and bought an OSS company, so should they count? I suppose so.

    These aren't the kinds of companies to rack up a 400% gain or 99% loss, though, so most of these questions do little more than occupy my brain during the slow holiday weeks.

    Navisite was a total surprise... in fact, I was a bit surprised to see they're still on our list to check. Congrats, guys.

    I remember we missed Orckit last year (and they're probably wishing we skipped them this year too). Any major omissions this time around?
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