Historically, what percentage of penny stocks have become big companies over the long term?
For example, Danaher Corporation (DHR) started around approximately 5 to 7 cents a share. Over the years it has split 4 or 5 times and is now sitting around approximately $90 per share this year.
Honestly very few. Especially in today's new public markets where companies can get liquidity in the private markets before ever going public they are going public much later and are more mature businesses when they become publically traded. The penny stocks out there are not like the penny stocks of yesteryear. They are companies that no other options but to try and get liquidity to continue to operate. Remember, institutions are not allowed to invest in penny stocks so it is hard for them to go up much. Way more will go under than will even double. Be careful...go to Vegas and bet on black, its way more fun.
I don't believe there is any sure way to know since some of the larger more succesful stocks never really started as a penny stock but rather when adjusting for splits it makes it look like they did. I am pretty sure though that there is much more failure of a penny stock than there are winners. However, just understand that penny stocks (or pink sheets) are speculative and very difficult to track, there is also not a lot of volume so there is usually a higher spread between the bid and the ask.
There is nothing wrong with "responsible" speculating but know that its not investing. Its specualting (its a bet). Just remember never to bet more than you are willing to lose and just be careful. But know again that you are not invesing.