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Inside 3 Outperforming Small-Cap Value ETFs

Zacks Equity Research

With global growth worries lashing on the bourses since the start of this year, risk-off sentiments are prevailing in the market. Though the risk appetite has returned of late, investors are still far from being outright hawkish on the market.


The key U.S. ETFs, namely the S&P 500-based SPY, Dow Jones-based DIA and Nasdaq-based QQQ are fast recouping their massive losses incurred in the initial phase of the year. Notably, SPY, DIA and QQQ added 4.3%, 3.2% and 3.9%, respectively, in the last one month. Most of the rally was prompted by an oil price recovery, a host of upbeat U.S. economic reading and a moderation in global issues.


Be it on the labor market, inflation, manufacturing, construction spending, housing or consumer spending, all recent data points released so far point to a recovery. People started to believe that U.S. economic growth probably has legs; and that all recessionary fears were overblown (read: Manufacturing Data Point to Recovery: ETFs, Stocks to Consider).


This economic trend should hammer out gains for the U.S. small-cap stocks and ETFs. Normally, smaller companies pick up faster than the larger ones in a growing economy. Since these pint-sized securities usually focus more on the domestic market, they are less ruffled by international worries than their globally exposed larger counterparts. This is especially true as a number of developing and emerging nations are presently under a pile of growth issues.


Moreover, thanks to their lesser foreign focus, small-cap ETFs avoid currency-translation issues. Quite expectedly, small-caps started rallying as soon as investors began embracing risky securities and riding on the U.S. economic momentum.

 

However, quite a few question marks are still looming over the investing world thanks to the ‘Brexit’ issue, Chinese economic slowdown, stability in the oil price rebound and the uncertainty regarding the next move by the central banks of the developed world. Hence, investors continue to look for value even in risky assets. This has lately made the value picks in the small-cap spectrum winners (see all small-cap ETFs here).

 

Below we highlight three small-cap value ETFs that rose the most in the recent small-cap rebound (read: Small-Cap Value ETFs: Key to Win in Post Lift-Off Era?).

 

S&P Small Cap 600 Value Index Fund (IJS)


The fund looks to provide exposure to U.S. small-cap value stocks by tracking the S&P SmallCap 600 Value Index. The $3.18-billion fund holds a total of 454 small cap stocks. The fund appears diversified as no stock accounts for more than 1.04% of the basket.

Among the different sectors, Financials, Industrials and Consumer Discretionary occupy the top three positions with 21.79%, 18.55% and 16.60% of weight, respectively.


The fund charges a premium of 25 basis points annually. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) ETF was up 4.7% in the last five-trading sessions (as of March 3, 2016). IJS yields 1.66% annually.



Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF (VBR)


This fund provides exposure to the value segment of the U.S. small cap market by tracking the CRSP US Small Cap Value Index. It holds a large basket of 862 stocks, which is widely spread across individual securities as none of these has more than 0.6% of assets (read: Enjoy Growth & Income with These Small-Cap Value ETF).


In terms of sector exposure, Financials dominates the portfolio at 31.1%, followed by Industrials (19.9%) and Consumer Services (12.2%). The ETF is quite popular with AUM of about $5.7 billion. It is one of the low cost choices in the small cap space, charging 9 bps in fees per year from investors. The fund added about 1.3% in the last five trading sessions (as of March 3, 2016) and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3.  

 

iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN)


This is one of the popular and liquid ETFs in the small cap space with AUM of $5.6 billion. The fund provides exposure to a broad basket of 1,330 stocks. It charges 25 bps in fees per year from investors. Notably, concentration risk across individual security is low at 0.6%.

 

Sector wise, financials dominates the fund’s portfolio with 43.5% share while industrials, information technology and consumer discretionary round off the top three with a double-digit exposure each. The ETF has an annual dividend yield of 2.28% and advanced about 4.4% in the last five trading sessions (as of March 3, 2016). It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3.

 

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ISHARS-SP SC VL (IJS): ETF Research Reports
 
VIPERS-SC VALUE (VBR): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-RS 2K VL (IWN): ETF Research Reports
 
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