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As a reminder, we don't typically recommend the penny stocks on these lists. We leave it to readers to decide whether penny stocks fit their personal investment goals.
But today, we're also giving readers a stock we do recommend.
This company is one of the hottest online gaming services on the market. And its relatively strong balance sheet compared to most penny stock companies makes it a worthwhile investment. The company recorded a strong $764.7 million in sales last year and has paid down almost $1 billion of its $1.9 billion in debt since December 2010.
We'll get to this penny stock recommendation in just a moment. But before we do, let's look at the top penny stocks to watch this week.
The 5 Top Penny Stocks This Week
Top Penny Stocks to Watch No. 5: Curis Inc. (Nasdaq: CRIS)
Curis is a biotech company that develops drugs for human cancers. The company's drug candidates are designed to promote cancer-cell death by targeting malignant proteins. CRIS was up 22.99% last week, but there was no apparent catalyst for its rise. Usually this means investors are speculating on the stock. CRIS is trading at $3.23 per share on Monday intraday and is up 10% year to date (YTD).
Top Penny Stocks to Watch No. 4: Qumu Corp. (Nasdaq: QUMU)
Qumu helps businesses create and manage their video content. Its cloud-based platform service is built for accessibility and also supports live streaming. Last week, QUMU rose 23%, but there was no apparent reason behind its rise. CRIS is trading at $3.10 per share on Monday intraday and is up 15% YTD.
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Top Penny Stocks to Watch No. 3: ITUS Corp. (Nasdaq: ITUS)
ITUS buys and develops licenses for emerging technologies. It owns eight patent portfolios for different industries, ranging from cellular communication to window frame construction. ITUS rose 26% last week. One possible reason for that surge was the company's announcement on Oct. 3 of a new platform to detect early forms of liver cancer. Additionally, in late September, the company also announced successful early detection platforms for ovarian cancer, melanoma, and colon cancer. Its stock has been on the rise ever since. ITUS is trading at $5.03 per share as of Monday intraday and is up 63% YTD.
Top Penny Stocks to Watch No. 2: VirnetX Holding Corp. (NYSEMKT: VHC)
VirnetX is an Internet security and software company. VHC rose nearly 30% last week after it announced a big legal victory against Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). The court awarded VirnetX $302.4 million in a verdict against Apple infringing four of VirnetX's patents. VHC stock is trading at $3.98 per share on Monday intraday and is up 55% YTD.
Top Penny Stocks to Watch No. 1: Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: AUPH)
Aurinia is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Canada. The company operates in the fields of nephrology and autoimmunity. The company's most promising drug candidate, voclosporin, aims to treat patients with lupus nephritis (LN), a disease that causes inflammation of the kidney. AUPH rose 53% last week after it announced on Oct. 6 that voclosporin has increased remission rates in one of its studies up to 70%. The company said its LN trial patients stayed in remission at 24 weeks. AUPH is trading at $4.60 per share Monday intraday and is up 87% YTD.
Continue reading to learn about our penny stock recommendation this week and why it has such high potential...
Penny Stock Recommendation: Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA)
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Founded in 2007, Zynga is a game services company that targets social networks and mobile phones. You may be familiar with some of its most popular games, including the "FarmVille" franchise, "Words with Friends," and "Draw Something."
Zynga is a powerful player in the mobile gaming industry, which could be worth $36.9 billion this year, according to Newzoo. That's up 21.3% from last year. Zynga represents a sizeable portion of that growth already, with $764.7 million in sales as of December 2015.
While the company hasn't posted a profit yet, it's working on paying down its debt load. You see, when a company first starts out, it usually takes on a lot of debt. What's important is if the company pays down its debt load over time.
And Zynga is doing just that. In fact, the company has reduced what was $1.9 billion in long-term debt to $987 million as of December 2015. That's a strong sign the company is moving in the right direction.
As Zynga continues to pay down its debt, lower its costs, and increase its sales, the company will bring more value to its shareholders. Analysts are projecting the company will reach over $1 billion in sales by 2020, according to FactSet. That's up 44% since 2015.
We suggest considering ZNGA as a long-term investment: one to hold onto for at least the next four years.