Today, we're bringing investors the top-performing penny stocks of the year so far. The five top penny stocks in 2016 feature gains over 400%, with the top penny stock of the year climbing 812%.
While these stocks have had incredible runs this year, we aren't necessarily recommending them as stocks to buy. Penny stock investing can be risky, so it's up to readers to decide whether these five stocks align with their investing strategies.
As a bonus today, however, we're sharing our 90-page investing guide about investing in the marijuana industry, which features dozens of great penny stocks.
But first, here's our list of the top five penny stocks in 2016 in terms of percentage gains, including the top-performing penny stock this year, with gains over 800%.
The 5 Top Penny Stocks This Year
Top Penny Stocks in 2016, No. 5: Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. (Nasdaq: HMNY)
Helios and Matheson is an information technology company that sells analytics technology, which uses big data to make predictions. The company operates in a variety of industries, including financial services, healthcare, and insurance. HMNY is up 411% this year after it announced a merger on June 6 with RedZone Maps, an application that uses GPS to map crime in cities. The merger news sent HMNY up 1,138% from $1.11 per share to $13.75 per share in less than a week. The stock has since fallen to $7.15 per share Monday intraday.
Top Penny Stocks in 2016, No. 4: China Commercial Credit Inc. (Nasdaq: CCCR)
China Commercial is financial services firm. The company provides direct loans, loan guarantees, and financial leasing services to businesses and individuals in the city of Wujiang, Jiangsu Province. CCCR is up 407% year to date (YTD), but there seems to be no single catalyst behind its rise. A new CEO appointment on July 5 may have boosted some investors' interest. CCCR is currently trading at $1.66 per share as of Monday intraday. With a stock trading this low, any small stock increase - just pennies per share - can give the stock large percentage gains.
Top Penny Stocks in 2016, No. 3: Alexco Resource Corp. (NYSEMKT: AXU)
Alexco Resource operates two businesses: a mining company and an environmental services business. Its mining company explores and mines developments in Canada. And its environmental business provides consulting, remediation solutions, and project management services in Canada and the United States. AXU is up almost 430% this year, rising steadily since January. It isn't clear what's driving AXU, other than investor speculation. The stock is currently trading at $1.80 per share as of Monday intraday.
Top Penny Stocks in 2016, No. 2: Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (NYSE: EBR)
Centrais Eletricas is a state-owned power-generation company headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The company operates wind farms, solar panels, hydroelectric, thermoelectric, and thermonuclear plants. EBR is up 447% YTD, but this stock's performance doesn't reflect the company's difficult year. Back in May, Centrais Electricas was delisted from the NYSE because of delaying its filings on corruption charges. EBR has since been relisted and is currently trading at $7.40 per share as of Monday intraday. The company has reassured investors that it plans to complete its existing projects, while selling non-operational assets. It appears that the stock is mostly being bought by the government of Brazil, rather than actual private or institutional investors.
Top Penny Stocks in 2016, No. 1: Magellan Petroleum Corp. (Nasdaq: MPET)
Magellan Petroleum is an oil and gas company that has natural gas projects along the U.S. Gulf Coast. MPET is up 812% YTD, with the largest chunk of its surge occurring between Aug. 1 and Aug. 12. On Aug. 8, the natural gas company announced a new merger agreement with Tellurian Investments Inc., a private company that focuses on developing liquefied natural gas. MPET is currently trading at $5.06 per share Monday intraday.
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