Small Cap Premium at Historic High

A recent article in Indexology Blog reports that, for the first half of 2018, small caps are outperforming large caps by the largest margin in eight years. In the past four months, it adds, the outperformance has reached 10.1%, “contributing to the 5th biggest realized small cap premium in the first half of any year in history.” Smaller cap stocks the article explains, “are less sensitive to international relations generally from the higher percentage of revenue… Read More

Small-Cap Picks from Top Global Investor

A recent Barron’s article profiles Magnus Larson–lead manager of the AMG TimesSquare International Small Cap Fund ($1.2 billion)—who has been able to deliver a 13.6% five-year annualized return (reportedly beating 94% of its peers) by “using old-fashioned stock picking, with analysts doing on-the-ground research at specific companies.” According to the article, “international small-mid-capitalization stocks are one of the few market sectors where active management can consistently add value. They are poorly covered by financial analysts,… Read More

Small Caps Outpacing Multinational Peers

Small cap stocks are climbing, a departure from last year’s dip as investors channeled money into larger multinational companies poised to benefit from global economic growth. This according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. The article reports that, in recent weeks, data suggests that worldwide momentum might be faltering. “Growth in the eurozone appears to have slowed in the first quarter of the year,” it says, adding that Japan’s economy showed a contraction… Read More

Aiming for Private Equity-Like Returns Using a Small Cap Value Quant Strategy

By Justin J. Carbonneau (@jjcarbonneau) —  “I do not like debt and do not like to invest in companies that have too much debt, particularly long-term debt. With long-term debt, increases in interest rates can drastically affect company profits and make future cash flows less predictable.” — Warren Buffett Of the twelve quantitative models we run publicly on Validea, nine of them look at a company’s level of debt in their assessment of a firm’s… Read More

A Tale of Two Small-Cap Indexes

A recent article in Barron’s compares the performance of two small-cap indexes: the Russell 2000, the most commonly-used benchmark, and the lesser-known S&P SmallCap 600 index. According to the article, over 90% of investment funds focus on the Russell 2000, but this index has underperformed its S&P peer for more than twenty years. “The difference isn’t trivial, either,” the article points out, adding that when reinvested dividends are taken into account, the difference amounts to… Read More

Small-Cap Ratings Often Fall Short

The correlation between analyst ratings of small-cap stocks and the subsequent returns of those stocks showed no statistical significance, according to analysis conducted by Barron’s. “In most cases,” the article argues, “you could have done just as well by flipping a coin.” The analysis, which used FactSet data, compiled all buy, sell, and hold recommendations outstanding as of January 1st for each of the past five years, then compared the average rating to shareholder returns… Read More

Hulbert: Large Caps Now and Small Caps in January

Small-cap stocks outperform large caps, on average, over the long term, but almost all the small-cap advantage occurs in the early part of the year. This according to a recent MarketWatch article by Mark Hulbert. “As you can see from the chart below,” he writes, “their advantage gradually diminishes as the year progresses, and is actually negative by the last quarter of the year.” The widely-accepted theory on the relative performance of these two asset… Read More

Small-Caps are on the Upswing

After a brief post-election surge at the end of 2016, small-caps “went nowhere” for nine months, but the asset class has “finally decided to join the party,” writes Ben Carlson of Ritholtz Wealth Management in a recent Bloomberg article. “Although 2013 was a breakout year for small-cap stocks,” writes Carlson, “there have been a steady number of all-time highs in the ensuing years.” Since small-caps can be volatile, this could be a sign that investors… Read More

Hulbert: Small Cap Sector Shockingly Overvalued

In a recent MarketWatch article, Mark Hulbert reveals a revised calculation that the small-cap sector is currently valued at a whopping 78.7 times earnings. He writes, “the Russell 2000’s true P/E today is higher than it was at either the top of the internet bubble or the 2007 bull market peak.” Hulbert describes the calculation, which he credits to financial services firm INTL FCStone’s Vincent Deluard, who told him that nearly a third of the… Read More

Small Companies on the Decline, says Zweig

The number of publicly-traded companies has declined by half over the past two decades, with most of the decrease attributed to the smallest companies, writes Jason Zweig in last week’s Wall Street Journal. Zweig questions, however, whether this is making it more difficult for “stock pickers to beat the market and for investors to forecast future returns from past data,” an assertion the columnist made in an earlier article. Zweig cites comments from AQR partner… Read More