To be completely straightforward, many if not a small majority of retail investors love speculating, making the concept of small-cap stocks analysts love incredibly relevant. Using a baseball analogy, betting on small-capitalization firms is akin to swinging for the fences when the bases are loaded. Basically, you’re going to attempt to win the game right here.
In all fairness, it’s not necessarily a bad tactic. Not to fuel poor decision making but you can’t achieve greatness in any field without taking risks. That said, there are smart risks, and then there are not-so-smart risks. With top-rated small-cap stocks, you’re stacking the deck in your favor.
As a caveat, analysts recommended small caps by no means guarantee their success. Further, analysts can get calls wrong. However, given that you usually can’t just become an analyst – especially at top research outfits – it’s relatively easier to go with expert-endorsed ideas. Throughout the way, we’ll cover some of the key objective financial stats to help forge your decision. With that, below are promising small-cap investments to consider.
An intriguing but controversial name among small-cap stocks analysts love, Immersion (NASDAQ:IMMR) is the leading innovator of touch feedback technology, also known as haptics. According to its corporate profile, the company invents, accelerates, and scales haptic experiences by providing technology solutions for mobile, automotive, gaming, and consumer electronics.
Nevertheless, investors should realize that it garnered a reputation for being a patent troll. Also, as a smaller enterprise – featuring a market cap of just over $217 million – IMMR is volatile. Since the beginning of this year, it lost 12% of its equity value. Nevertheless, it’s technically one of the top-rated small-cap stocks, featuring a robust balance sheet and excellent profit margins.
Presently, analysts peg IMMR as a consensus moderate buy. On average, their price target lands at $8, implying over 20% upside potential. Again, it’s a terribly risky idea with plenty of mobility (both up and down) in the charts. Still, as one of the analysts recommended small caps, IMMR might deliver the goods.
PHX Minerals (PHX)
Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, PHX Minerals (NYSE:PHX) is a natural gas and oil mineral company with a strategy to proactively grow its mineral position in its core areas of focus. According to its public profile, PHX owns approximately 253,000 net mineral acres principally located in its home state, Texas, North Dakota, New Mexico and Arkansas.
As with other small-cap stocks analysts love, prospective participants should be prepared for volatility. Since the beginning of this year, PHX slipped nearly 20%. More turbulence in either direction could be on the way given its market cap of just over $110 million. Still, an encouraging note is that over the past 365 days, it fell only a bit more than 2%.
Financially, PHX performs quite well given the context. Specifically, its Piotroski F-Score clocks in at 8 out of 9, indicating high operational efficiency. Also, its Altman Z-Score comes in at 3.93, indicating low bankruptcy risk. Lastly, analysts peg PHX as a moderate buy. Their average price target hits $4.83, implying nearly 63% upside potential. Thus, it’s one of the best small-cap stocks for speculators.
Ardmore Shipping (ASC)
One of the small-cap stocks analysts love that could be due for a comeback, Ardmore Shipping (NYSE:ASC) owns and operates a fleet of chemical tankers ranging from 25,000 to 50,000 deadweight tons. Per its public profile, Ardmore provides seaborne transportation of petroleum products and chemicals worldwide to oil majors, national oil companies, oil and chemical traders, and chemical companies with its modern, fuel-efficient fleet of mid-size tankers.
Since the start of the year, ASC slipped 10%. However, in the past month, it has attempted to break out of its funk, gaining 1%. Presently, the company features a market cap of $492 million. Interestingly, over the trailing one-year period, ASC gained nearly 80%. Thus, the potential for upside exists.
On the financials, Ardmore benefits from strong operational stats. Its three-year revenue growth rate (on a per-share basis) pings at 18.7%, above 79.21% of its peers. Also, its EBITDA growth rate during the same period is 68.1%, above 90.98%. To close, analysts peg ASC as a unanimous strong buy. Their average price target stands at $20.80, implying over 65% growth.
Based in Tennessee, SurgePays (NASDAQ:SURG) is a rapidly growing financial technology (fintech) firm targeting the underbanked market. According to its corporate profile, the company utilizes its blockchain software platform to provide a comprehensive suite of essential financial services, telecom, and prepaid products, as well as top-selling consumable products, to convenience and community stores, bodegas, and tiendas.
Easily one of the most relevant small-cap stocks analysts love, SurgePays is best left for the extreme speculator. With a market cap that presently sits just shy of the $100 million mark, SURG may go anywhere. Since the January opener, SURG gained over 4 across turbulent price action. In the trailing year, shares gained more than 38%, which makes it one of the best small-cap stocks for those willing to gamble.
On the financials, SurgePays benefits from a decent Piotroski F-Score of 7 out of 9, indicating solid operational efficiency. Also, its Altman Z-Score clocks in at 5.11, indicating a low risk of bankruptcy. Turning to Wall Street, analysts peg SURG as a moderate buy. Their average price target came out to $12.75, indicating almost 85% upside potential.
Hailing from Bloomingdale, Illinois, PCTEL (NASDAQ:PCTI) is a leading global provider of wireless technology. This includes expertise in purpose-built Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) devices, antenna systems, and test and measurement solutions. Since the start of the year, PCTI gained nearly 11% of its equity value. Thus, it’s one of the better-performing small-cap stocks analysts love.
Even better, over the trailing one-year period, PCTI gained almost 15%. Shares could be brewing something special, making it enticing for gamblers. However, prospective participants should be aware that PCTI represents another sub-$100 million market cap enterprise. Therefore, don’t jump aboard if you can’t handle volatility. That said, investors may appreciate PCTEL’s Piotroski F-Score of 8 out of 9, indicating high operational efficiency. Also, check out its cash-to-debt ratio of 7.93, which beats out 76.18% of sector players.
Moreover, Lake Street’s Jaeson Schmidt believes strongly in PCTI, rating it a buy with a $9 price target. If it gets there, we’re talking over 89% growth. Thus, it’s one of the promising small-cap investments.
CPI Card (PMTS)
Headquartered in Littleton, Colorado, CPI Card (NASDAQ:PMTS) bills itself as a leading payment solutions provider. Per its corporate profile, CPI offers credit, debit, and prepaid debit card solutions. As well, its underlying technology helps seamlessly connect its clients’ business, data, and customers in real-time. Though an intriguing concept, the market doesn’t seem to care too much about PMTS.
Yes, it’s one of the small-cap stocks analysts love as you’ll see below. However, since the January opener, PMTS fell a rather alarming 36%. To be fair, it’s up nearly 42% in the trailing one-year period. However, with a market cap of a little over $273 million, investors should be prepared for choppy waters.
On the financial front, CPI Card benefits largely from its operational prowess. For example, its three-year revenue growth rate pings at 17.7%, above 75.98% of companies listed in the credit services industry. Also, its EBITDA growth rate during the same period is 30.2%, above 78%. Lastly, analysts peg PMTS as a moderate buy. Their average price target hits $49.50, implying nearly 107% growth. Therefore, it’s easily one of the top-rated small-cap stocks.
Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW)
Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE:BBW) is one of the most distinct, if not outright unique small-cap stocks analysts love. The company sells teddy bears and other stuffed animals and characters, hence the brand name. Customers go through an interactive process in which the stuffed animal of their choice is assembled and tailored to their own preferences during their visit to the store.
Although an enticing idea among analyst-recommended small caps, Build-A-Bear cuts a volatile profile. Since the start of the year, BBW tripped and gave up more than 19% of its equity value. In fairness, over the past one-year period, shares gained nearly 18%. However, with a market cap of $287 million, BBW is not appropriate for timid investors.
Nevertheless, the company offers some stats that many market participants may find attractive. For instance, its three-year revenue growth rate pings at 10.2%, above 70% of the competition. Also, its EBITDA growth rate during the same period impresses at 67.7%. On a final note, Small Cap Consumer Research analyst Eric Beder pegs BBW a buy with a $41 price target. Reaching that would translate to over 107% upside potential.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.