In the past 12 months, small cap stocks did not perform well. All in all, the S&P SmallCap 600 lost 9% of its value (for the sake of comparison, the S&P 500 was able to climb by 10%). Microcaps have encountered greater difficulties and declined by 22%.
True, as data shows, small stocks tend to be volatile, but they have their merits. They are relatively cheap to buy, and they have great potential for growth. The following three stocks shouldn’t be left unnoticed by investors as they provide excellent opportunities for future returns.
Upwork – A New Concept of Work
Most people today follow a conventional work pattern. They wake up early in the morning, commute to work and return home in the evening. Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK) strives to change that. It has built an online platform where freelancers working from home at their own free time offer their services to individuals or companies seeking different types of products from content and programming to financial or legal counseling.
This new type of flexible work, referred to as the "gig economy", is still in its infancy in the United States with a market cap of a little more than $1.5 billion, but it is expected to rise exponentially in the future. Upwork is leading the way.
Since is public debut in the autumn of 2018, Upwork stock lost 25% of its value. As alarming as this may sound, the stock has great potential. So far, Upwork has not been profitable, but there is room for optimism. In 2019 Q1, its revenue went higher by 16% year over year to $68.9 million.
The analysts show the company’s stock ungrudging courtesy. On June 26, Brent Hill from Jefferies upgraded it from hold to buy with a price target of $23 from real price value of $15. Average analysts’ price target stands at $22.75 (43% upside ). This positive assessment is derived from Upwork’s growth potential in the freelance market.
HEXO – Cannabis for Fun and Healing
HEXO Corp (TSE:HEXO) is a Canadian company that produces and distributes cannabis for medical and recreational uses in the Canada. It deploys innovative cannabinoid isolation technology with its 1.8 million sq. ft of facilities located in Quebec, Ontario and Greece (indicating the company’s intentions to penetrate the Eurozone).
HEXO’s production stood at 9,804 kilos in Q1 2019, nearly 100% higher quarter over quarter. Production forecast for fiscal 2020 issued by the company’s management revolves around 150,000 kilos, which is expected to increase annual revenues from approximately C$64 million at present to a whopping $400 million.
Wall Street analysts are fully aware of HEXO’s potential. Russel Stanley from Beacon reiterated his buy recommendation for the company on June 13 setting a 12-month target price of $14 with a particularly big upside of 111 %. On June 12, the company released its third quarter fiscal 2019 (July 31 fiscal year end) financials showing gross and net revenue of $15.9 million and $13.0 million, respectively. Both were ahead of Stanley’s forecast of $12.3 million and $10.2 million, respectively.
Having said that, one should bear in mind that high profit potential also entails risk. Owen Bennett from Jefferies has recently reiterated his assessment of the company’s stock to sell. He is concerned about HEXO’s earnings latest earnings release for the quarter ending January 31. The company reported a quarterly GAAP net loss of C$4.33 million. In comparison, last year the company had a GAAP net loss of C$1.97 million. This calls for a bit of caution before deciding to invest.
Inseego – Investing in a Breakthrough Technology
5G technology is almost here and Inseego (NASDAQ:INSG) positions itself to be at its forefront by upgrading its already existing 4G cloud and networking solutions to the new generation.
Despite currently being unprofitable, analysts expect the company to increase its annual revenues by 20% in the next 5 years. If that happens, its stock will most likely soar by around 80 % above its current price ($4.27 as of June 27).
Michael Latimore from Northland Securities has recently reiterated his buy recommendation for the stock setting a price target of $6 (current stock value as of June 27 stands at $4.29) with an upside of 39.86%. In the last 3 months, Inseego insiders bought the company shares at a total worth $10.64 million and that is a good sign.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Some small cap stocks have great profit potential and it is crucial to be able to identify them. But as shown above, the greater the prospects for profit, the greater the risk. One of the major disadvantages of small stocks is their tendency to be volatile. Therefore, it is highly advised to closely monitor their performances over time, go over analysts’ assessments and, most of all, always stay alert to new developments that may change the overall picture.