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Tech Industry

Roundup: Small stocks, big gains

    A handful of small cap stocks made huge advances Tuesday showing that even though most of the low-hanging fruit has been snatched, there's still some growth opportunities in lesser-known technology stocks.

    Leading the pack is Affinity Technology Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AFFI), up 1 1/4, or 85 percent, to 2 23/32 after announcing that its patent for a system that allows customers to establish a real-time financial account without any human intervention had been approved.

    Whether that's a good thing or not remains to be seen, but Affinity shareholders certainly don't mind. This stock was literally a two-bit stock in October after falling from a 52-week high of 4 7/16 in April.

    Company officials said the new patent will provide proprietary rights covering fully automated establishment of financial accounts, including credit accounts, through a remote interface connected to a data processing system.

    "We believe that this patent will be a valuable asset to our patent portfolio," said CEO Joe Boyle in a prepared release. "We anticipate that this patent, once issued, will provide us with additional licensing opportunities."

    SpeedUs.com Inc. (Nasdaq: SPDE) also made a nice move, surging up 7 1/4, or 83 percent, to a 52-week high of 15 15/16 after an article in Monday's Barron's highlighted the upside potential of the wireless handheld device services market.

    The article said sales of handheld wireless devices made by the likes of Palm Computing, Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP) should grow by between 30 percent to 50 percent for the next couple of years.

    More impressive, Internet-enabled phones capable of generating e-commerce are expected to boost worldwide sales of cell phones by at least 65 percent this year.

    SpeedUs.com is one of the companies that services these handheld devices. SpeedUs.com is enjoying its rally because it owns 45 percent of Speedia.com. Last Friday, the stock also had big gains.

    NovaTel Inc. (Nasdaq: NGPS) was also among the small cap winners, moving up 1 13/32, or 25 percent, to 5 3/8.

    NovaTel designs, markets and supports a range of products that determine precise geographic locations using the global positioning system.

    And finally, Patient Infosystems Inc. (Nasdaq: PATI) jumped 7/8, or 33 percent, to 3 1/2 Tuesday.

    The company provides patient-centered health care information systems and services to manage, collect and analyze information to improve patient compliance with prescribed treatment protocols.>