Most Successful Penny Stocks In History

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Written By
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Written By
Dan Buckley
Dan Buckley is an US-based trader, consultant, and part-time writer with a background in macroeconomics and mathematical finance. He trades and writes about a variety of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, commodities, currencies, and interest rates. As a writer, his goal is to explain trading and finance concepts in levels of detail that could appeal to a range of audiences, from novice traders to those with more experienced backgrounds.

The term “penny stocks” refers to stocks trading at a low price per share, typically under $5, and often outside of major market exchanges (sometimes the pink sheets).

These stocks are considered highly speculative due to their low price, small market capitalization, and limited following and disclosure.

However, several penny stocks have defied the odds and generated significant returns for traders.

Here are a few notable examples, keeping in mind that historical performance is not necessarily indicative of future results, and some of these were only temporarily successful before the poor fundamentals of the business ultimately won out:


Most Successful Penny Stocks

Monster Beverage Corporation (MNST)

Once a penny stock trading under the name Hansen Natural, Monster Beverage became one of the most successful turnaround stories.

The company’s shares were trading at mere cents in the early 2000s, essentially fitting the literal definition of a penny stock.

It underwent a remarkable transformation, driven by its successful line of energy drinks, leading to a significant increase in its stock price and market capitalization.

Ford Motor Company (F)

During the financial crisis of 2008-2009, shares of Ford Motor Company plummeted to under $2, technically categorizing it as a penny stock for a period.

Ford managed to avoid the bankruptcies that befell its peers by restructuring its operations and finances.

This led to a strong recovery in its stock price in the following years.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

In the early 2010s, AMD was struggling with competitive pressures and financial difficulties, with its stock price falling below $2.

However, under new leadership, the company executed a strategic turnaround by focusing on high-performance computing and graphics technologies, which resulted in a dramatic increase in its stock value.

Now with chip demand from a new AI/automation revolution, AMD has been part of that surge.

Plug Power Inc. (PLUG)

Plug Power, a company that specializes in hydrogen fuel cell technology, was once trading as a penny stock.

Over the years, due to increased interest in clean energy it has seen its stock price rise and fall.

It saw massive price increases in the 1999-2000 tech bubble, 2004, and the 2020-22 period.

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI)

After facing bankruptcy in the early 2000s, Sirius Satellite Radio (before merging with XM Satellite Radio to become Sirius XM) saw its stock price fall to pennies.

However, it managed to survive and eventually thrive to a degree, becoming a major player in the satellite radio industry with a significantly higher stock price.

Tesla (TSLA)

Tesla was a sub-$5 stock (in split-adjusted terms) as far back as 2013, and has fit some components of penny-stock-like behavior over the years (e.g., extreme volatility, high levels of promotion by insiders and fans).

Through the stock’s strong promotion and future promises by its CEO Elon Musk, the development of the underlying electric vehicle business, and cult-like devotion by its fans, Tesla became a $1.2 trillion-plus company at its peak.



These examples illustrate that while penny stocks carry significant risks, including the potential for loss and volatility, they also offer the potential for substantial rewards.

Nonetheless, trading or investing in penny stocks requires thorough research, due diligence, and an understanding of the associated risks.

Equities are a long-duration asset class, so it may take years (or never) for a thesis to play out.