Despite concerns about deflation, a possible double-dip recession, European sovereign debt crises, housing trouble and unemployment, 2010 was a pretty good year for U.S. stocks. For holders of these stocks, it was a great year.

Acme Packet

The best-performing stock of 2010. The Bedford, Mass., company specializes in cloud computing services, a hot area in 2010. Its stock rose 424% in the last year due to increased demand for the session border controllers it produces

Isilon Systems

This specialist maker of low-cost data storage systems based in Seattle agreed in November to be purchased by EMC for $2.25 billion in cash. Not so long ago, in 2009, the company’s shares traded hands for less than $2; today the stock is worth nearly $34.

Polypore International

President Barack Obama visited one of the manufacturing facilities of this Charlotte, N.C.-based maker of electric-car battery components. Its stock more than tripled in 2010.


The stock of this Iowa maker of hydraulic and electronic equipment soared after Denmark-based Danfoss moved to purchase all the shares in the company it didn’t already own.


This Sunnyvale, Calif.-based maker of fiber-optic transmission gear supports a variety of network applications, transmissions speeds and distances. Demand for its services pushed up its financial performance and helped its stock soar by more than 200% in 2010.


Making plastic clogs was one way to earn healthy returns in the stock market in 2010. This maker of plastic shoes surged 240%.


The shares of the movie-rental and online entertainment company more than tripled in 2010, giving Netflix a market valuation of more than $9 billion. Netflix has successfully transformed from a mail-order DVD rental outfit to an online movie and television content provider.

Riverbed Technology

This San Francisco maker of computer backup and networking equipment had a great year as a result of rising demand for additional bandwidth and the wide-area network optimization the company specializes in producing. The stock soared more than 200%.

NxStage Medical

This Lawrence, Mass.-based medical device maker that develops systems for the treatment of end-stage renal disease and acute kidney failure posted a 218% return in 2010.

Kronos Worldwide

The shares of this Dallas specialty chemical producer increased with demand for its titanium dioxide pigments. The stock returned 218% in 2010.

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