Over the past 12 months the Australian S&P/ASX 200 (INDEX: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has gone up just 4%.
Whilst 4% up is better than 4% down, it’s still nowhere near the yearly return most investors would expect from stocks.
However for those of us actively investing our own money, there have been some standout performers over past year.
And some of them are still great buys at today’s prices…
For example, small-cap machine-to-machine (M2M) communications developer NetComm Wireless Ltd (ASX: NTC) is up a whopping 146% in the past year following massive increases in profit and revenues in FY14. Just today, the company’s shares are up 5% following the announcement of a new North American distribution agreement with Arrow Electronics, Inc (NYSE: ARW). Keep your eyes on this one.
Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA) is another technology company making moves on the North American market. The aerial photography company only recently announced its strategy for taking on the much larger U.S. market, where it’ll leverage heavily off its Australian success. Thanks to a big swing to profitability in FY14, its share price is up 53% in the past year alone.
Shine Corporate Ltd (ASX: SHJ) is a law firm specialising in personal injury litigation. The company is focused on its ‘inch wide; mile deep’ strategy and sees growth opportunities in other areas of plaintiff litigation such as professional negligence, human rights and environmental law. It calls these ‘emerging practice areas’ and in FY14 they generated some $18 million in revenue, up 48% year-on-year.
Lastly, Yellow Brick Road Holdings Ltd’s (ASX: YBR) share price may only have appreciated 7% this past year but operationally it’s taking strides towards a more profitable future. Chairman Mark Bouris is aggressively building scale and brand awareness through store rollouts and marketing campaigns. Despite not yet being profitable, it is expected to be so within the next two years.
Buy, Hold, or Sell?
These four small-caps have each proven to be excellent investments over the past year but for every one of these successes, there’s many more that have failed. Indeed, each of these four have a number of risks moving forward and are anything but a sure bet.
I already own Yellow Brick Road, Shine Corporate and Nearmap shares and will likely add NetComm to that list in the near future.