Penny Stocks / Featured / Growth Stocks

Most Successful Penny Stocks in History

  • Declan O’Flaherty

    Declan holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta and has over 4 years of experience investing in financial markets. As a fundamental investor, Declan embraces the investment principles of Warren Buffett and his disciples. This puts a focus on finding businesses with healthy financials, competent and accountable leader, enduring competitive advantages, and those that are selling at discount to what they are worth.

    View all posts

Are you ready to discover an investment opportunity that offers the potential for massive returns?

If so, penny stocks may be the perfect fit for you!

Despite their risky reputation, penny stocks have produced incredible gains for investors.

Though it takes time and dedication to master the art of penny stock investing, it’s more than worth it in the end once you invest in your 100-bagger.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most successful penny stocks in history and share a few tips on how to find these all-star assets before they take off.

Get ready to learn how penny stock investing can be a game changer for your portfolio.

What is a Penny Stock?

Before we jump in, here is a quick overview of penny stocks to help you get started.

Essentially, penny stocks are shares of small companies that trade at a low price, typically less than $5 per share, hence the name.

These companies are usually relatively unknown and have a small market capitalization, making them riskier investments compared to larger, more established companies.

But don’t let the risks scare you away. Penny stock companies can offer a unique opportunity to discover undervalued companies and get in on the ground floor of a potentially lucrative investment opportunity.

As long as you do your research before investing in a penny stock and focus solely on those with the strongest fundamentals, you can make massive returns on your investment with some luck.

As always, make sure to do your due diligence and only invest what you can afford to lose.

Why Invest in Penny Stocks?

We have all heard that most penny stocks are risky investments, and this is true.

But, if your goal is to make the largest returns possible, then trading penny stocks can also offer multiple benefits.

For one, penny stocks are often overlooked by Wall Street analysts and institutional investors, meaning there’s an opportunity for you to discover undervalued companies before they go mainstream.

Once the big dogs finally figure out what they are missing, this can potentially lead to substantial gains as the company gains traction and the stock price rises.

In addition, penny stocks tend to be easier for companies to understand compared to larger stocks.

That is because they typically have fewer business segments or are solely focused on one product or service.

This will change once they start to grow, but for now, you will only need to ensure that they are strengthening their position in one market rather than multiple different areas.

Lastly, penny stocks can be an excellent way to diversify your portfolio.

While your goal may be to maintain steady growth, penny stocks can complement your portfolio, providing you with more opportunities to strike it rich.

All-in-all, you can’t go wrong with investing in a small, up-and-coming company, as long as it has the right sauce for success over the long run.

If you want to learn how to trade penny stocks, check out this video.

Top 15 Most Successful Penny Stocks in History

Without further adieu, here are 15 of the most successful penny stocks in history (note that stock prices are adjusted for stock splits).

All of these began as cheap stocks that no one had heard of and evolved into billion-dollar companies.

If you want to learn how to buy penny stocks and succeed, you’ll want to understand what makes these companies so special.

15. Tesla (TSLA)

All-Time Return: +11,641%

Market Cap at IPO (2010): $1.7 billion

Market Cap 2023: $592.79 billion

Tesla Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Tesla Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

With surprisingly the lowest all-time returns on our list, Tesla is an electric vehicle and clean energy company founded by Elon Musk. With a mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, Tesla has disrupted the automotive industry and become a symbol of innovation and progress. Shortly after its IPO, Tesla traded as low as $1.30 per share in 2010. Since then, the company has reached astronomical heights, now trading above $187 per share. Over the trailing twelve months, Tesla earned $81.46 billion in revenues and $12.58 billion in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $1.16 million, excluding any dividends.

14. Netflix (NFLX)

All-Time Return: +27,719%

Market Cap at IPO (2002): $328 million

Market Cap 2023: $148.18 billion

Netflix Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Netflix Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

A business requiring no introduction, Netflix is a streaming giant home to binge-worthy shows, thought-provoking documentaries, and cheesy rom-coms. With over 200 million subscribers worldwide, it’s safe to say that Netflix is more than just a platform for chillin’. In 2002, Netflix traded as low as $0.94 per share before exploding to over $690 per share in 2021. Now, it sits at roughly half of that price, trading at around $330 per share. Over the trailing twelve months, Netflix earned $31.62 billion in revenues and $4.49 billion in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $2.77 million, excluding any dividends.

13. ASML (ASML)

All-Time Return: +30,001%

Market Cap at IPO (1995): $1.64 billion

Market Cap 2023: $252.16 billion

ASML Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
ASML Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Coming in at thirteenth, ASML is a Dutch company and the leading supplier of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry. Their machines use advanced optics and electronics to print circuits onto silicon wafers, enabling the production of faster, smaller, and more power-efficient microchips. Following its IPO in 1995, ASML traded at $2.57 per share. Now, it trades at a whopping $640 per share. Over the trailing twelve months, ASML earned $23.21 billion in revenues and $6.16 billion in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $3.00 million, excluding any dividends.

12. Axon (AXON)

All-Time Return: +48,911%

Market Cap at IPO (2001): $123 million

Market Cap 2023: $16.43 billion

Axon Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Axon Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Now for a company that you may have never heard of, Axon specializes in developing and producing less-lethal weapons, like tasers and body cameras for law enforcement agencies. With a focus on innovation and social responsibility, Axon is dedicated to providing tools that help keep both officers and the public safe. In 2002, Axon traded as low as $0.30 per share. Now, the company trades at over $225 per share. Over the trailing twelve months, Axon earned $1.19 billion in revenues and $147 million in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $4.89 million, excluding any dividends.

11. Tractor Supply Company (TSCO)

All-Time Return: +54,978%

Market Cap at IPO (1994): $137 million

Market Cap 2023: $26.51 billion

Tractor Supply Co Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Tractor Supply Co Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

A shocker to some, Tractor Supply Co. is a U.S. retail chain that offers a wide range of products for farmers, ranchers, and rural customers. With over 2,100 stores in 49 states, Tractor Supply Co. is a leading destination for anyone who needs supplies for their home, land, or animals. In 2000, during the tech bubble, TSCO reached a low of $0.40 per share before exploding to an all-time high of $241 in 2023. Over the trailing twelve months, Tractor Supply Co earned $14.20 billion in revenues and $1.09 billion in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $5.50 million, excluding any dividends.

10. Monster Beverage Corporation (MNST)

All Time Return: +65,134%

Market Cap at IPO (2003): $2.9 billion

Market Cap 2023: $52.33 billion

Monster Beverage Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Monster Beverage Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Coming in hot, Monster Energy is a producer of some of the most popular energy drinks in the world, providing consumers with the fuel they need to tackle anything life throws their way. Following its IPO in 2003, Monster traded as low as $0.05 per share. Since then, it has exploded in recent years, now trading above $52 per share. Over the trailing twelve months, Monster earned $6.31 billion in revenues and $1.19 billion in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $6.51 million, excluding any dividends.

9. NVIDIA (NVDA)

All-Time Return: +65,759%

Market Cap at IPO (1999): $292 million

Market Cap 2023: $666.95 billion

NVIDIA Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
NVIDIA Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Arriving at #9, NVIDIA is a technology company that designs and manufactures advanced graphics processing units (GPUs) for use in a wide range of applications, including gaming, artificial intelligence, and data centers. Caught in the Dot Com bubble, NVIDIA fell to $0.36 per share in 1999. Since then, the stock has erupted, trading over $279 in 2023. Over the trailing twelve months, NVIDIA earned $26.97 billion in revenues and $4.37 billion in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $6.58 million, excluding any dividends.

8. Nike (NKE)

All-Time Return: +70,005%

Market Cap at IPO (1980): $126 million

Market Cap 2023: $193.95 billion

Nike Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Nike Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Next up is Nike, a leading global brand in the athletic footwear and apparel industry, offering a wide range of products for athletes and consumers alike. The company’s strong brand recognition and commitment to innovation continue to drive growth and success in the highly competitive sportswear market. At its IPO, Nike traded at just $0.14 per share. Now, the athletic retail stock trades north of $126. Over the trailing twelve months, Nike earned $50.63 billion in revenues and $5.48 billion in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $7.00 million, excluding any dividends.

7. USANA Health Sciences (USNA)

All-Time Return: +101,725%

Market Cap at IPO (1996): $110 million

Market Cap 2023: $1.24 billion

USANA Health Sciences Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
USANA Health Sciences Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Another under-the-radar stock, and the first to crack over 100,000% all-time returns, USANA Health Sciences is a leading company in the health and wellness industry, offering a wide range of high-quality nutritional supplements, personal care products, and healthy foods. With a strong focus on science-based research and development, USANA is dedicated to providing innovative and effective solutions to help people live healthier, happier lives. Following the Dot Com bubble crash, USANA traded at a measly $0.33 per share. But since then, the health and wellness company has continued to climb, trading above $63 per share today. Over the trailing twelve months, USANA earned $999 million in revenues and $69 million in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $10.17 million, excluding any dividends.

6. Amazon (AMZN)

All-Time Return: +104,737%

Market Cap at IPO (1997): $438 million

Market Cap 2023: $1.05 trillion

Amazon Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Amazon Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Introducing everyone’s favorite online retailer, Amazon is a massive e-commerce giant that has revolutionized the way we shop. With a vast selection of products, lightning-fast delivery, and innovative technologies like Alexa and Prime Video, Amazon has become a household name and a dominant force in multiple industries, particularly retail and cloud. Shortly after its IPO in 1997, Amazon traded as low as $0.08 per share. Now, the e-commerce giant is one of the most valuable companies in the world, with a share price of over $102. Over the trailing twelve months, Amazon earned $513.98 billion in revenues and suffered $2.72 billion in losses. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $10.47 million, excluding any dividends.

5. Disney (DIS)

All-Time Return (since 1985): +107,749%

Market Cap at IPO (1957): $84 million

Market Cap 2023: $182.63 billion

Disney Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Disney Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Giving Netflix a run for its money as the top streamer, Disney is a global entertainment company that creates and distributes movies, television shows, theme park attractions, and consumer products. With a rich history and beloved characters, Disney has a strong brand identity and a loyal fan base, making it a significant player in the entertainment industry. You wouldn’t believe it, but in 1985 Disney traded at just $1.65 per share. However, since then, the company has continued to trend upwards, except for the 2022 market crash, and now trades around $100 per share. Over the trailing twelve months, Disney earned $84.42 billion in revenues and $3.32 billion in profits. If you invested $10,000 in 1985 and held until now, you’d have made $10.77 million, excluding any dividends.

4. Apple (AAPL)

All-Time Return (since 1985): +128,986%

Market Cap at IPO (1980): $1.2 billion

Market Cap 2023: $2.61 trillion

Apple Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Apple Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Possibly the greatest comeback in stock market history, Apple is a multinational technology company known for designing and developing innovative hardware, software, and consumer electronics. With a strong focus on user experience and a loyal customer base, Apple has become one of the world’s most valuable and influential companies. After letting go of founder Steve Jobs in 1985, Apple’s stock lay dormant, trading below $1 per share for over a decade. Then suddenly, things began to turn around once they rehired Steve Jobs and became the company we all know and love today. Now, Apple trades above $165 per share and is the most valuable company of all time. Over the trailing twelve months, Apple earned $387.54 billion in revenues and $95.17 billion in profits. If you invested $10,000 in 1985 and held until now, you’d have made $12.90 million, excluding any dividends.

3. Adobe (ADBE)

All-Time Return: +179,009%

Market Cap at IPO (1986): $224 million

Market Cap 2023: $173.35 billion

Adobe Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Adobe Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Coming in third place on our list, Adobe is a multinational software company that provides multimedia and creativity software products for professionals and consumers. Its products are used in various industries, such as graphic design, video editing, web development, and digital marketing. At its IPO in 1986, Adobe traded for just $0.27 per share. Now, the software company’s shares trade at an astounding $375. Over the trailing twelve months, Adobe earned $17.61 billion in revenues and $4.76 billion in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $17.90 million, excluding any dividends.

2. Progressive (PGR)

All-Time Return: +242,725%

Market Cap at IPO (1993): $2.3 billion

Market Cap 2023: $81.02 billion

Progressive Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Progressive Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Taking second place, Progressive is an insurance company that offers personal and commercial auto insurance and home, renters, and life insurance products. Known for its competitive pricing and innovative technology, Progressive has become one of the largest auto insurers in the United States. Progressive traded around $1 per share in its early days for quite some time. Then, following its official IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, the company began to take off and hasn’t looked back since. Today, Progressive trades above $138 per share. Over the trailing twelve months, the company earned $49.59 billion in revenues and $694 million in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $24.27 million, excluding any dividends.

1. Microsoft (MSFT)

All-Time Return: +297,632%

Market Cap at IPO (1986): $780 million

Market Cap 2023: $2.15 trillion

Microsoft Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com
Microsoft Market Cap Chart | companiesmarketcap.com

Saving the best for last, Microsoft is a multinational technology company that develops, licenses, and sells computer software, consumer electronics, and personal computers. With a wide range of products and services, such as Windows, Office, Xbox, and Azure, Microsoft has established itself as one of the leading tech giants in the world. Building off its humble beginnings at $0.11 per share, Microsoft now trades above an incredible $288. This has resulted in an all-time return of 297,632%. Over the trailing twelve months, Microsoft earned $204.09 billion in revenues and $67.45 billion in profits. If you invested $10,000 at its IPO and held until now, you’d have made $29.76 million, excluding any dividends.

How to Find Penny Stocks Before They Explode (Key Takeaways)

Penny stocks rarely succeed, but when they do, it can mean a huge profit for your portfolio.

Finding penny stocks before they explode may feel like a daunting task. After all, if it were so easy, then everyone would be a billionaire by now.

But don’t be discouraged. There are ways to increase your chances of striking rich.

Primarily, a lot can be learned from studying the companies that made it on our list because most of these businesses share a few important characteristics.

If you can learn to spot these qualities in stock early on, you will likely improve your odds of capturing a few hundred baggers of your own.

Find a Fundamentally Strong Business

For one, each of the companies mentioned above is a fundamentally strong and financially healthy company.

Even when they were just beginning, all the businesses listed generated organic revenues and had sufficient cash.

As they began to grow, the cash piles grew bigger and bigger as they reinvested the profits back into the business.

When penny stocks succeed, it’s because they have a strong grip on their financials and rarely seek outside capital, even though it’s sometimes advantageous to take on debt or issue new shares.

That’s because it’s a lot easier to survive as a business when you know fresh money is always coming through the door.

So as a general rule of thumb when analyzing individual stocks, it’s always smart to invest in those businesses that can make money on their own.

Invest in Intelligent Managers

Though it’s not necessarily the most important thing, having an intelligent and accountable management team does go a long way for a company, especially in the early stages.

Sometimes, a business can get away with terrible managers.

But in most instances, a company needs someone, or a group of people, that can guide them to success.

If you were to analyze most of the companies on this list, you would discover that many of them have incredible managers, enabling them to become what they are today.

When looking for intelligent management teams, search for those with a proven track record, an ability to allocate capital effectively, and those that are willing to admit that they are wrong.

If you do, you can be confident that your money is in good hands, even during the toughest economic recessions.

Large Addressable and Expanding Market

Warren Buffett once said, “When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.”

For this reason, an excellent management team isn’t enough.

Instead, you should look for businesses operating in industries where many tailwinds drive the company toward success.

An example of this might be artificial intelligence.

Since we are just beginning to learn what AI is capable of, and there are many factors indicating that it will be around in the future, the artificial intelligence industry is ripe for the picking.

That being said, one might argue that investing successfully in AI stocks can be difficult since it is a highly disruptive market where a company’s moat is threatened every day.

As such, it is always important to consider both the opportunities and risks in a given market.

Ultimately, you want to find those stocks and industries that offer the path of least resistance so that you can be confident you’ll generate excellent returns.

Invest for the Long Run

If there is any takeaway from this article, it should be that it takes time to realize an investment’s full potential.

As you can see from the stocks listed, all of them have grown exponentially over the years, even after decades of growth.

Compound interest works wonders for long-term investors, offering them opportunities to make millions of dollars compared to what they initially invested.

But oftentimes, we retail traders get caught up in the short-run drama that dictates the day-to-day fluctuations of a stock.

As a result, we tend to sell way too early because we think that a single event will change the business forever or that the future returns are unsustainable.

However, if we zoom out and look at the bigger picture, most of us will realize that if we just hold on and stay patient, we can make a lot more money than we ever could’ve imagined.

Of course, you should always make sure that the business is still productive and financially stable.

If it is, then there is no point in selling unless you believe that there is a better opportunity in the market.

Overall, it pays to be patient as an investor.

Final Thoughts

Penny stock investing can pay massively if you are willing to put in the work.

As you can see by the companies listed, some of the best stocks of all time began as penny stocks.

Therefore, even though many penny stock companies fail, when you commit yourself to learning what makes a business excellent, you will find that the number of worthwhile investment opportunities increases as well.

So, even though it will require tremendous dedication, the results are bound to be worth it in the end.

At the least, you will become a better investor because of it, and who knows, maybe you will find the next Microsoft destined for investment excellence.

 

Disclosure/Disclaimer:
We are not brokers, investment, or financial advisers; you should not rely on the information herein as investment advice. If you are seeking personalized investment advice, please contact a qualified and registered broker, investment adviser, or financial adviser. You should not make any investment decisions based on our communications. Our stock profiles are intended to highlight certain companies for YOUR further investigation; they are NOT recommendations. The securities issued by the companies we profile should be considered high risk and, if you do invest, you may lose your entire investment. Please do your own research before investing, including reading the companies’ public filings, press releases, and risk disclosures. The company provided information in this profile, extracted from public filings, company websites, and other publicly available sources. We believe the sources and information are accurate and reliable but we cannot guarantee it. The commentary and opinions in this article are our own, so please do your own research.
Copyright © 2023 Edge Investments, All rights reserved.

  • Declan O’Flaherty

    Declan holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta and has over 4 years of experience investing in financial markets. As a fundamental investor, Declan embraces the investment principles of Warren Buffett and his disciples. This puts a focus on finding businesses with healthy financials, competent and accountable leader, enduring competitive advantages, and those that are selling at discount to what they are worth.

    View all posts

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