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5 Small-Cap Buys With Large Potential

Now's the time to get a piece of these up-and-coming small caps

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magnifying small capsI have to say, I love this time of year. Not just because the holidays are here, but because it’s the seasonally strong time of the year for stocks. Each year at this time we load up our buy list with fundamentally superior stocks and watch them outpace the market in the weeks and months to follow.

Sure, it’s hard to want to put money into the market when you can’t tell if the market is quite finished gyrating. But I’m here to tell you this is the perfect time to buy. You get in while other investors are scratching their heads and steal stocks at bargain prices out from under them.

In that vein, here are five small-cap stocks that have two powerful tailwinds at their back right now: strong sector trends and the seasonally strong period for small caps..

Arabian American Development (NASDAQ:ARSD) is a two-for-one stock. That means it has two great growth drivers in one company. ARSD not only owns and operates a petrochemical facility in southeast Texas, it also owns a significant stake in a mining company in Saudi Arabia:

ARSD makes chemical products from petroleum. It has a 60% North American market share in Styrofoam and similar products used in drinking cups, food packaging and the like. It also uses petroleum to make adhesives and rubber products. 

The company also owns a 37% stake in a Saudi Arabian mining operation for copper, zinc, gold and sliver. The mine is expected to be operational in the coming days, which will provide an excellent boost to earnings in the coming quarters.

In the most recent quarter, Arabian American Development’s sales rose 66.1% to $61.5 million, compared with $37 million in the same quarter a year ago. During the same period, earnings rose 128.6% to $3.9 million — or 16 cents per share compared with $1.7 million, or 7 cents per share a year ago. The analyst community was expecting earnings of 9 cents per share, so Arabian American Development posted a 77.8% earnings surprise. Looking forward, the analyst community is expecting annual fourth-quarter sales growth of 99.2% and 750% annual earnings growth.

In the past month, the analyst community has revised their consensus forecast for earnings by 105.9%. Typically, such aggressive earnings revisions precede future earnings surprises. The stock is a good buy, but is thinly traded, so I must insist that you try to buy the stock with a limit order within 10 cents of the previous day’s closing price. Under no circumstances should you try to buy this stock with a market order, since you could send it soaring and hurt yourself and other investors.

DCP Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:DPM) is a great play on natural gas and propane. The company gathers, compresses, treats, processes, transports, stores and sells natural gas in the U.S. It also does many of these things for propane and natural gas liquids.

It’s a stable business that isn’t too complicated. Bottom line: DCP Midstream is a go-to player in a hot market.

In the third quarter, DCP Midstream posted 29.2% annual sales growth and 687% annual earnings growth of $1.35 per share. The analyst community was expecting earnings of only 27 cents per share, so the company posted a whopping 400% earnings surprise! Looking forward to the fourth quarter, the analyst community is expecting 35.4% annual sales growth and 446.3% annual earnings growth. The company also has a very healthy 5.8% dividend yield that is taxed at a 35% federal rate, since it’s a limited partnership.

Pioneer Drilling (NYSE:PDC) is another great drilling and oil services company that I want you to add to your holdings this month. PDC provides its services to major oil and gas exploration and production companies in Colombia and the U.S. It boasts 71 land drilling rigs, 78 well service rigs, 98 wireline units and an impressive fishing and rental services business (this is part of the oil exploration business, not the kind of fishing you would do on vacation).

In the third quarter, DCP Midstream Partners posted 38.4% annual sales growth and 320% annual earnings growth of 11 cents per share. The analyst community was expecting earnings of 10 cents per share, so the company posted a 10% earnings surprise. Looking forward to the fourth quarter, the analyst community is expecting 34.1% annual sales growth and 362.9% annual earnings growth.

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