When investors have the willingness to take short term positions and the ability to bear a certain degree of risk, small-cap funds could be the correct choice. These funds generate significant demand driven sales during a market upswing, which lead to an increase in their prices. Smaller firms also look to continuously reinvest their profits back into their business. This reassures shareholders of superior performance and higher profit potential from such companies. Small Cap funds therefore make excellent additions to a well-diversified portfolio.
Below we will share with you 5 top rated small-cap mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect these mutual funds to outperform their peers in the future. To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all small-cap funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.
5 Best Small Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ACHN)
Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of treatments for infectious diseases. The company focuses on the development of antivirals for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C; and the development of antibacterials for the treatment of resistant bacterial infections. Its drug candidates for the treatment of chronic HCV include ACH-1625, a protease inhibitor, which is in phase IIa clinical trial for the treatment of chronic HCV; ACH-2684, a pangenotypic protease inhibitor, which is in phase I clinical trial for the treatment of chronic HCV infection; and NS5A inhibitors for the treatment of chronic HCV infection, including ACH-2928, which is to enter a phase I clinical trial, as well as various additional NS5A inhibitors in preclinical development. Its pipeline of product candidates also includes ACH-702 and ACH-2881 for drug resistant bacterial infections; elvucitabine for HIV infection; and AC H-1095 for HCV infection. The company was founded in 1998 and is based in New Haven, Connecticut.
- [By Brian Nichols]
Achillion is an odd play because it has both the most upside and the most downside of any stock on this list. The company’s developing and testing its hepatitis C treating drug, ACH-1625, which is currently in phase II. The results of initial testing have consisted of ups and downs, but after many years and a long process, ACH-1625, appears to be on the right track for an FDA approval.
The upside in shares of ACHN comes from two places: encouraging data from trials and its likelihood of being acquired. In my opinion, ACHN has a very high chance of being acquired in the next 6 months. Both Pharmasset (VRUS) and Inhibitex (INHX) were acquired over the last 5 months with insanely large premiums. VRUS was purchased at a 81% premium and INHX for a 182% premium. ACHN is perhaps the most speculative, but it could also be purchased the cheapest.
The stock’s recently pulled back after a downgrade and is trading much lower over the last couple weeks. The stock’s tren d reminds me so much of INHX; the month following the VRUS acquisition when INHX traded higher by nearly 300%. But then after the one-month gain, INHX lost its momentum and traded lower by 40% before being acquired with a 182% premium. INHX traded higher after the VRUS purchase because investors thought it would also be acquired, because of its hepatitis C candidate. ACHN is following the same trend, from November 12 till January 13 the stock more than doubled, but has since retraced.
At $10 I think ACHN is a buy, it does have a good HCV candidate, and I believe that big pharma will bid to acquire ACHN in the near future. However, the risk in ACHN is if the company’s not acquired, then it could have significant loss over the next year. But in a competitive biotechnology industry I believe the reward is worth the risk, and that a large pharma company will take the chance and purchase ACHN in an attempt to stay competitive and capitalize on the trend of investors being bullish on HCV treating drugs.
5 Best Small Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: ATA Inc.(ATAI)
ATA Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides computer-based testing services in the People?s Republic of China. It offers services for the creation and delivery of computer-based tests utilizing its test delivery platform, proprietary testing technologies, and testing services; and provides logistical support services relating to test administration. The company?s computer-based testing services are used for professional licensure and certification tests in various industries, including information technology (IT) services, banking, securities, teaching, and insurance. Its e-testing platform integrates various aspects of the test delivery process for computer-based tests ranging from test form compilation to test scoring, and results analysis. ATA also provides career-oriented educational services, such as single course programs, degree major course programs, and pre-occupational training programs focusing on preparing students to pass IT and other vocational certification tests; test preparation and training programs and services to test candidates preparing to take professional certification tests in securities, futures, banking, insurance and teaching industries; online test preparation and training platform for the securities and banking industries; and test preparation software for the teaching industry. In addition, the company offers HR select employee assessment solution, an online system that utilizes its proprietary software and an inventory of test titles to help employers improve the efficiency and accuracy of their employee recruitment process. As of March 31, 2010, it had contractual relationships with 1,988 ATA authorized test centers. The company serves Chinese governmental agencies, professional associations, IT vendors, and Chinese educational institutions, as well as individual test preparation services. ATA Inc. was founded in 1999 and is based in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China.
- [By Wyatt Research Staff]
The Chinese-based educator spiked higher recently after it exceeded analysts’ expectations. Revenue and adjusted earnings soared 78% and 269%, respectively. Its long-term annual growth rate is 15%.
Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares from "neutral" to "outperform".
Best Clean Energy Stocks To Own For 2014: InterDigital Inc.(IDCC)
Interdigital, Inc. engages in the design and development of digital wireless technology solutions. The company offers technology solutions for use in digital cellular and wireless products and networks, including 2G, 3G, 4G, and IEEE 802-related products and networks. It holds patents related to the fundamental technologies that enable wireless communications. The company licenses its patents to equipment producers that manufacture, use, and sell digital cellular and IEEE 802-related products; and licenses or sells mobile broadband modem solutions, including modem IP, know-how, and reference platforms to mobile device manufacturers, semiconductor companies, and other equipment producers that manufacture, use, and sell digital cellular products. InterDigital?s solutions are incorporated in various products comprising mobile devices, such as cellular phones, tablets, notebook computers, and wireless personal digital assistants; wireless infrastructure equipment, such as base stations; and components, dongles, and modules for wireless devices. The company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
- [By SmallCap Investor]
The wireless technology company said it’s exploring its options, including a possible sale, following last month’s successful auction of Nortel Networks intellectual property which brought in $4.5 billion. IDCC owns about 1,300 patents related to mobile phone technology.
- [By CRWE]
InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDCC) reported that certain of its subsidiaries have completed the previously announced sale of roughly 1,700 patents and patent applications to Intel Corporation for $375 million in cash.
5 Best Small Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: Panera Bread Company(PNRA)
Panera Bread Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises retail bakery-cafes in the United States and Canada. Its bakery-cafes offer fresh baked goods, sandwiches, soups, salads, custom roasted coffees, and other complementary products, as well as provide catering services. The company also manufactures and supplies dough and other products to company-owned and franchise-operated bakery-cafes. As of March 29, 2011, it owned and franchised 1,467 bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co., and Paradise Bakery & Cafe names. The company was founded in 1981 and is based in St. Louis, Missouri.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
One casual dining player that insiders are active in here is Panera Bread (PNRA), which is a national bakery-cafe concept with 1,652 company-owned and franchise-operated bakery-cafe locations in 44 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada. Insiders are buying this stock into modest strength, since shares are up 5.2% so far in 2013.
Panera Bread has a market cap of $4.8 billion and an enterprise value of $4.5 billion. This stock trades at a reasonable valuation, with a trailing price-to-earnings of 26.28 and a forward price-to-earnings of 21.32. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 15.8%, and for next year it’s pegged at 15.1%. This is a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is $341.06 million and its total debt is zero.
The CFO just bought 1,500 shares, or about $252,000 worth of stock, at $168.58 per share.
From a technical perspective, PNRA is currently trending below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bearish. This stock recently gapped down big from $187.50 to its low of $165.55 a share with heavy downside volume. That move has now pushed shares of PNRA into oversold territory, since its current relative strength index reading is 25.59. Oversold can always get more oversold, but it’s also an area where a stock can experience a powerful rebound higher from.
If you’re bullish on PNRA, then look for long-biased trades as long as this stock is trending above some key near-term support at $165.55, and then once it breaks out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 200-day of $171.33 a share to more resistance at $172.50 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 439,019 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then PNRA will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone that started at $187.50 a share. Some possible upside targets if PNRA gets into that gap with volume are $175 to $180 a share.
5 Best Small Cap Stocks To Buy For 2014: Sify Technologies Limited(SIFY)
Sify Technologies Limited provides enterprise and consumer Internet services primarily in India. The company offers various corporate network/data services comprising e-commerce and network connectivity solutions, such as end-to-end services network, application, and security services; voice origination and termination services; co-location and managed hosting services; and system integration services for data centre build, hardware distribution, security solutions, and turnkey projects. It also provides application services, including SLEMS and Microsoft Exchange messaging platforms; I-test for online assessment and LiveWire, which enable management of training processes across the organization; document management system for the management of documents electronically; and Forum, a forward supply chain solution. In addition, the company operates e-Ports that offer browsing, chat, email, gaming, utility bill payment, travel ticketing, hotel booking, mobile recharge, Intern et telephony, and online share trading services; and portals, which provide news, views, reviews, interactions, and services in the areas of movies, sports, finance, food, videos, astrology, online games, shopping, and travel, as well as offers content offerings and broadband services. Further, it provides infrastructure management services, such as network management, datacenter and helpdesk outsourcing, desktop and storage outsourcing, IT security outsourcing, LAN and WAN outsourcing, database and telecom outsourcing, and application monitoring and management services to automotive, chemical, media, and financial enterprises; and virtualization design, integration, and deployment services for servers, storage, networks, and end user clients. Sify has approximately 1,278 e-Ports in 200 towns and cities; and serves 1,06,000 broadband subscribers through 1500 cable TV Operators. The company, formerly known as Sify Limited, was founded in 1995 and is based in Chennai, India. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Wyatt Research Staff]
Shares of SIFY skyrocketed last week after the company announced a new partnership with Saudi telecom. SIFY will provide ICT services to the Middle East’s largest telecom carrier.
Shares of the Indian-based internet and network services have doubled over the past four months.