The third quarter of 2012 was a very good one for large-cap stocks: The Dow Jones industrial average rose by 5 percent, and three of its stocks were up by more than 13 percent: Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, and Procter & Gamble.

But it’s when you get down into the really little stocks where you find the amazing short-term gains. Nine different stocks – listed on any American exchange – managed to double in value over the course of the third quarter. Those stocks are:

minerZale Corporation (ZLC), up 156.5 percent

What it is: Probably the best-known stock of this group, Irving, Texas-based Zale operates a series of retail jewelry stores throughout the nation, primarily in shopping malls.

What happened: Zale is a turnaround story. Its earnings report announced losses for the second quarter, but they were narrower than previous quarters, and an 11 percent jump in same-store sales got investors’ attention. Analysts now think Zale could return to profitability next year. In August alone, the stock gained 86 percent.


Primero Mining (PPP), up 102.3 percent

What it is: Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Primero operates primarily gold and silver mines in Mexico. It bought the San Dimas mine back in 2010, paying $500 million for what appears to be gold and silver reserves worth $2 billion. 

What happened: After announcing the discovery of a new gold vein in one of its mines at the end of June, it was mostly a steady rise for this stock. The share price was up 35 percent in July, 30 percent in August, and 17 percent in September.

(AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

bankFidelity Bancorp (FSBI), up 104.6 percent

What it is: A Pittsburgh-based bank with 14 branches in western Pennsylvania.

What happened: It announced plans for a merger with WesBanco, a Wheeling, W.Va.-based regional bank holding company. On July 20, the day after the announcement, Fidelity’s share price shot up 65 percent, from 12.78 to 21.09.

 

Savannah Bancorp (SAVB), up 106.2 percent

What it is: A bank holding company located in Savannah, Ga.

What happened: In early August, SCBT, a South Carolina-based regional bank, announced it was buying Savannah Bankcorp. On Aug. 6, Savannah’s stock jumped from 5.55 to 9.03, and its volume spiked from 1600 shares traded to 386,200 shares.

 

WSB Holdings (WSB), up 108.5 percent

What it is: Headquartered in Bowie, Md., WSB operates Washington Savings Bank, with five branches in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

What happened: Our third and final bank merger. On Sept. 10, WSB announced it would be acquired by Old Line Bancshares, another D.C.-area bank holding company. The stock popped by 83 percent in that single day. The volume went from a measly 900 shares traded on Sept. 10 to 257,000 shares traded on Sept. 11.

(Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

mortgage companyIMPAC Mortgage Holdings (IMH), up 265.5 percent

What it is: Based in Irvine, Calif., IMPAC offers a wide range of mortgage services to both consumers and businesses.

What happened: IMPAC’s stock was flat for the quarter until Aug. 13, when the company reported profits had grown 11 times over the previous quarter, following a 33 percent increase in mortgage loans. The share price jumped 87 percent in one day, from 2.24 to 4.19, then kept rising, going up another 86 percent by the end of the quarter.

(Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

technologyGenMark Diagnostics (GNMK), up 112.2 percent

What it is: A biotech based in Carlsbad, Calif., GenMark develops molecular diagnostic testing systems.

What happened: A spate of insider buying in the stock toward the end of June got the attention of many analysts. When GenMark then beat earnings expectations in its report in mid-August, the good news continued. All told, the stock gained 35 percent in August and another 24 percent in September.

 

Wizzard Software (WZE), up 149.5 percent

What it is: Based in Pittsburgh, Wizzard produces a wide variety of software applications for use in podcasts.

What happened: The big news for Wizzard was the acquisition of Digital Entertainment Network, which some refer to as the Redbox of China, which was approved by its shareholders on July 31. With the increased access to the world’s biggest consumer nation, Wizzard more than doubled within the space of a month, going from 2.03 on July 17 to 5.06 on Aug. 13.

 

Sarepta Therapuetics (SRPT), up 313.5 percent 

What it is: A biotech company based in Cambridge, Mass. (recently moved from the state of Washington), it focuses on developing RNA-based therapies. The company is working on a drug that may be an effective treatment for a certain kind of muscular dystrophy.

What happened: After releasing a study showing that its product passed a key test in treating muscular dystrophy, Sarepta more than doubled in price in a single day, vaulting from 3.46 to 8.53 on July 23. Since then it has only continued to go up, tripling over the course of the quarter – and more positive test results earlier this week sent it soaring again. Since July 23, Sarepta is up by more than a thousand percent – a ten-bagger. 

 

For more from Tom Nawrocki, see:

Watching the indicators

Listening to the whisper numbers

Rise of the mega-caps

(Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net)