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10 Hottest Small-Cap Stocks of 2012

Biotechs make up most of this high-flying crowd

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#3: Ellie Mae

YTD Performance: +405%

Ellie Mae (NYSE:ELLI) is an electronic mortgage origination network, connecting about 55,000 real estate professionals to lenders. Obviously, this wasn’t a booming business as housing cratered, but hopes of a turnaround have meant brisk business and a very impressive improvement in Ellie Mae’s bottom line.

Consider that so far this year, the company has recorded earnings of 37 cents per share — more than the entire amount recorded in fiscal 2009 (12 cents), 2010 (6 cents) and 2011 (18 cents) combined!

As mentioned before, the Top 10 S&P Stocks of 2012 list as of Q3 included a lot of homebuilding stocks, so it’s not surprising to see a housing play in this small-cap index, too.

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