Top Small Cap Stocks for December 2021


Small cap stocks are public companies that have market capitalizations ranging from $300 million to $2 billion. Since the share prices of these companies can be very volatile, some companies in the small cap universe, or in small cap indexes, can have market caps significantly higher than this range at any particular time. Some of the stocks classified as small caps are insurance company Genworth Financial Inc. (GNW), printing and imaging company Eastman Kodak Co. (KODK), and retail drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp. (RAD).

Small cap stocks, as represented by the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM), have slightly underperformed the broader market, providing investors with a total return of 31.9% compared to the Russell 1000’s total return of 32.8% over the past 12 months. These market performance numbers and the statistics in the tables below are as of Nov. 22, 2021.

Here are the top three small cap stocks with the best value, fastest growth, and most momentum. The market valuations of some of the companies listed below are above the generally agreed upper limit of $2 billion for a stock to be considered small cap. This tends to happen in periods of higher volatility, especially for momentum stocks. However, they are still classified as small cap because stocks are not re-indexed as rapidly as their price movement. Their valuations may drop later as volatility subsides.

These are the small cap stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows that you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Small Cap Stocks
 Price ($)Market Cap ($B)12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Finance of America Companies Inc. (FOA)
California Resources Corp. (CRC)40.543.30.9
Shenandoah Telecommunications Co. (SHEN)26.931.31.3

Source: YCharts

  • Finance of America Companies Inc.: Finance of America offers a lending and financial services platform that connects borrowers with investors. It provides a diverse set of lending financial products and services, including home loans, reverse mortgages, commercial real estate loans, and student loans. The company announced in early November financial results for Q3 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), the three-month period ended Sept. 30, 2021. Net income sank 79.3% as revenue declined 24.7% compared to the year-ago quarter.
  • California Resources Corp.: California Resources is an oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P) company with operations in California. It produces crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGL). It also operates a power plant that generates electricity from natural gas. The company announced in November financial results for Q3 FY 2021 ended Sept. 30, 2021. It posted net income of $103 million, a significant improvement from the $29 million net loss reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 43.8% compared to the year-ago quarter. California Resources said that its strong financial performance enabled it to initiate a quarterly cash dividend, enhancing its shareholder return strategy.
  • Shenandoah Telecommunications Co.: Shenandoah Telecommunications is a broadband services provider. It operates high-speed cable, fiber optic, and fixed wireless networks that provide broadband services to customers throughout the U.S.

These are the top small cap stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings per share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore, ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one figure or the other unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of more than 2,500% were excluded as outliers.

Fastest Growing Small Cap Stocks
 Price ($)Market Cap ($B)EPS Growth (%)Revenue Growth (%)
Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc. (KLIC)57.073.5894.4182.0
Civitas Resources Inc. (CIVI)51.804.4718.8222.7
Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. (SCHN)53.861.5921.482.0

Source: YCharts

  • Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc.: Kulicke & Soffa Industries is a provider of semiconductor, LED, and electronic assembly solutions. It serves automotive, consumer, communications, computing, and industrial markets globally. On Oct. 18, the company announced that it planned to increase its quarterly dividend by 21% to $0.17 per share of common stock. The dividend is payable on Jan. 10, 2022 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 23, 2021.
  • Civitas Resources Inc.: Civitas Resources is a carbon neutral oil & gas production company. It is focused on developing and producing crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg Basin.
  • Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc.: Schnitzer Steel Industries is a metals recycling company. It collects, processes, and recycles raw scrap metal and provides processed scrap metal to mills and foundries worldwide.

These are the small cap stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Small Cap Stocks with the Most Momentum
 Price ($)Market Cap ($B)12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Ocugen Inc. (OCGN)7.721.52,320
Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. (MARA)54.685.61,670
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (AMC)40.8721.01,180
Russell 1000N/AN/A32.8
iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM)N/AN/A31.9

Source: YCharts

  • Ocugen Inc.: Ocugen is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. It’s focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of gene therapies to cure diseases related to blindness. It’s also developing a COVID-19 vaccine. The company announced in early November financial results for Q3 FY 2021 ended Sept. 30, 2021. Ocugen’s net loss widened slightly to $10.8 million from $10.5 million in the year-ago quarter. The company generated no revenue again during the quarter as it continues to work towards obtaining regulatory approval for its medicines. Ocugen recently filed for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate for use by children between 2-18 years of age.
  • Marathon Digital Holdings Inc.: Marathon Digital Holdings is a digital asset technology company engaged in the mining of cryptocurrencies. Its primary focus is on the blockchain and the generation of digital assets.
  • AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.: AMC Entertainment Holdings is among the largest movie exhibition companies in the world. It operates approximately 950 theaters and 10,500 screens globally.

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