Top 10 Penny Stock Gains of July 2017

This list below shows the 10 biggest penny stock gains of July so far, which we'll continue to follow the rest of the month. We'll also give you one of our top small-cap stocks to buy this year, right after the chart...

Penny Stock Share Price July 2017 Return
Monster Digital Inc. (Nasdaq: MSDI) $1.09 +123.6%
Cerulean Pharma Inc. (Nasdaq: CERU) $0.83 +85.5%
Vince Holding Corp. (NYSE: VNCE) $0.82 +77.9%
Verastem Inc. (Nasdaq: VSTM) $3.46 +59.2%
Zion Oil & Gas Inc. (Nasdaq: ZN) $5.15 +48.7%
Cerecor Inc. (Nasdaq: CERC) $0.79 +37.9%
AVEO Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: AVEO) $3.01 +35.6%
Technical Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: TCCO) $6.98 +34.6%
Sito Mobile Ltd. (Nasdaq: SITO) $4.95 +33%
Oncobiologics Inc. (Nasdaq: ONS) $1.31 +33%
CareDx Inc. (Nasdaq: CDNA) $1.46 +32.4%

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The biggest penny stock gainer has been Monster Digital, which has soared 123.6% from $0.49 at the close of June 30 to $1.09 today (Monday, June 10). Those returns came after the company announced what's known as a "reverse merger" with private firm Innovate Biopharmaceuticals...

penny stock gainsA reverse merger is when a private company goes public without generating funding for an IPO. Since it doesn't involve raising capital from outside investors, the process of completing a reverse merger doesn't depend on how much investors will pay for the company's stock. It's only used to turn a private company into a public one by getting help from a firm that's already publicly traded.

In the case of Monster Digital and Innovate, the reverse merger will essentially let Innovate acquire Monster Digital and retain Innovate's name. Analysts estimate that Innovate's pre-existing business will have a $60 million valuation, and Monster's will have a $6 million valuation - less than its current $8.2 million market cap. The merger will also give Innovate a new stock ticker, and people who were already invested in Innovate before the deal will hold 90.9% of the new company.

Since Monster Digital stock will be reduced to just 9.1% of the new company, there will be fewer shares of MSDI. This has spiked demand for the stock since the reverse merger's announcement, which is why MSDI is up a whopping 123.6% in just the first week of the month.

While the double- and triple-digit penny stock gains earned by MSDI and the other firms listed above may be attractive, we don't recommend investing in any of those stocks today. After all, now likely wouldn't be the best time to buy in since they've already posted those big returns.

Investing in penny stock gainers like these can be extremely risky for anyone who hasn't done the right amount of research. Before buying any penny stock, it's important to read through financial documents like 10-K filings and earnings reports to ensure the company is both legitimate and profitable.

Money Morning Small-Cap Specialist Sid Riggs prefers to do the research for you.

Although most of his stock picks trade for over $5 per share, these companies have larger market caps, from around $300 million to $2 billion. These larger valuations show they attract more traders and investors because they're more financially stable than typical penny stocks.

Today, Sid - whose April 19 recommendation has handed Money Morning Members a 30% return since then - just found another small-cap stock to buy this year. It's a pharma company with a strong track record of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its products, with three approvals between 2010 and 2012. Not to mention one of those products will be the first of its kind sold over the counter.

But even better proof of its financial strength is the company's impressive earnings record. The firm has smashed earnings expectations by an average of 57.6% over the last four quarters.

That's an indication of how Wall Street consistently underestimates this firm's profitability, making now the perfect time to buy shares before Wall Street catches on.

Here's Sid's newest small-cap stock recommendation...

This Is One of the Best Small-Cap Stocks to Own in 2017

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Sid recommends OraSure Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: OSUR), a developer of medical devices that detect conditions like HCV, HIV, and influenza. The firm also sells drug-screening products that can detect narcotics or alcohol in a person's system.

But OraSure's most popular products include its line of portable cryosurgical devices. These let people apply intense cold to lesions, warts, and other spots on the skin to remove the unwanted or infected tissue.

The company has seen a number of its products quickly receive FDA approval in recent years. In 2010 and 2011, the FDA approved OraSure's blood and fingerstick HCV tests, respectively. And in 2012, the company received FDA approval for its in-home HIV test.

According to the OraSure website, it's the first oral fluid over-the-counter HIV test approved in the United States. The ability to stay ahead of competitors will continue to be a long-term boost for OraSure stock.

In fact, its ability to outperform the market is already showing this year. The OSUR stock price has soared 111.3% so far in 2017, crushing the Dow Jones' 8.5% gain and the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index's 16.9% return. Since Sid first recommended OSUR to Money Morning Members on June 12, shares have already climbed 22.3%.

And Sid expects those gains to keep coming despite analysts' conservative projections.

Thomson Reuters analysts predict shares of OSUR to rise as much as 7.9% from the current $18.54 price to $20 by next July. However, the company keeps growing while analysts keep underrating it, and that means it's a value buy right now...

Since Q2 2016, OraSure has smashed earnings estimates by an average of 57.6%. During the last quarter of 2016, the firm posted $0.13 per share, exceeding the $0.05 analyst estimate by 160%. It kept that streak going in Q1 2017, when it earned $0.21 per share and beat the $0.18 projection.

"That tells me analysts have almost perennially underestimated the company's potential - something they won't do for long," Sid said. "Which is why you don't want to delay for a New York minute if you're as interested as I am."

The Bottom Line: While the biggest penny stock gains of July so far have been as high as 123.6%, we don't recommend investing in any of the companies listed above. They've already seen big returns, meaning buying into them now could leave you with losses since they already trade at higher prices. Instead, we recommend buying OraSure stock for a potential minimum gain of 7.9%. However, with a string of quick FDA approvals and unbelievable earnings, that Wall Street projection could end up being extremely conservative.

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