10 Best Micro-Cap Stocks to Buy According to Hedge Funds

In this article, we discuss the 10 best micro-cap stocks to buy according to hedge funds. If you want to read about some more micro-cap stocks, go directly to 5 Best Micro-Cap Stocks to Buy According to Hedge Funds.

Value stocks have been in the limelight as interest rates rise and inflation batters the growth market. However, the discussion around value equities is often hijacked by large and popular companies. Research shows that even though private equity is a solid bet for a healthy investment portfolio, the returns of micro-cap value stocks have outperformed it over the past few years. These micro-cap stocks do not command much attention on social media either as tech-based offerings reign supreme on the internet.

Boston Partners, a capital market company, outlines that in a fifteen-year period between 1995 and 2020, the US Private Equity Index soared by around 716%, compared to the 740% rise in the CRSP Equal Weighted Microcap Index over the same period. Both indexes outperformed the returns of the benchmark S&P 500 that was 255% between 1995-2020. The amount of institutional capital dedicated to around 8,700 micro-cap stocks tracked by Boston Partners has also shrunk since 2008 even as private equity assets witness a surge in inflows.

Institutional investors like hedge funds have a bias towards large cap stocks like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), but usually do not pay much attention to micro-cap entities. The report by Boston Partners reveals that mutual funds and institutional investors, from both active and passive domains, hold roughly 78% of the total holdings in the Russell 2000 but only 40% of the non-Russell 2000 microcap universe.

Even though there are many reasons to invest in micro-cap stocks, the price volatility often associated with smaller companies puts off many investors. Many micro-cap stocks in high-growth domains like artificial intelligence, space, and biotech trade on over-the-counter (OTC) markets as well, which limits their access to a broader marketplace in the United States. However, the returns of these firms, evidenced by the 51% returns of the Dow Jones Select Micro-Cap Index as of September 2021, is further evidence that these concerns seem out of place given the performance of micro-caps.

Photo by Nick Chong on Unsplash

Our Methodology

These were picked using market capitalizations and growth catalysts. Stocks that have a market capitalization between $50 million and $300 million were preferred for the list. The business fundamentals and analyst ratings of each company are also discussed to provide some additional context.

Data from around 900 elite hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey was used to identify the number of hedge funds that hold stakes in each company.

Best Micro-Cap Stocks to Buy According to Hedge Funds

10. IBEX Limited (NASDAQ:IBEX)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 3

IBEX Limited (NASDAQ:IBEX) provides tech-enabled lifecycle experience solutions. Some of these include IBEX Connect, IBEX Digital, and IBEX CX. The three are customer service, customer acquisition, and customer experience solutions respectively. On February 16, the company posted earnings for the second fiscal quarter of 2022, reporting earnings per share of $0.27 and a revenue of around $132 million, up 12% year-on-year. The board of directors of the firm also recently approved a $20 million share repurchase program.

IBEX Limited (NASDAQ:IBEX) also raised guidance numbers for the rest of the fiscal year in the earnings report. The firm now expects organic revenue growth of 10% to 12% against consensus estimates of 7.3%. Capex guidance was around $35 million.

Among the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, New York-based investment firm Schonfeld Strategic Advisors is a leading shareholder in IBEX Limited (NASDAQ:IBEX) with 400,000 shares worth more than $5 million.

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, 3 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $4 million in IBEX Limited (NASDAQ:IBEX), compared to 4 in the preceding quarter worth $13 million.

Just like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), IBEX Limited (NASDAQ:IBEX) is one of the stocks that elite investors have on their radar.

9. Huttig Building Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBP)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 7

Huttig Building Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBP) makes and sells building materials and wood products. These include door units, windows, stair parts, roofing, siding, insulation, and other products and services. On March 2, the firm posted earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021, reporting a revenue of more than $230 million, up close to 25% compared to the revenue over the same period last year. The company is presently in the process of reviewing strategic alternatives to boost shareholder value.

Jon Vrabely, the CEO of Huttig Building Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBP), noted in the earnings call that “continued growth in demand for residential building products, an elevated pricing environment, and a focus on growing strategic product categories” were some of the factors that led to sales growth for the firm during the fourth quarter and the year overall.

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, 7 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $40 million in Huttig Building Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBP), up from 3 in the preceding quarter worth $15 million.

Among the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, Connecticut-based investment firm Mill Road Capital Management is a leading shareholder in Huttig Building Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBP) with 1.7 million shares worth more than $19 million.

8. First Western Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MYFW)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 8

First Western Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MYFW) is a Colorado-based financial holding company. Some of the services it provides include wealth management, private banking, personal trust, investment management, mortgage lending, and institutional asset management. The firm operates a total 18 profit centers, mostly spread across Colorado and Arizona. Last year, the company had merged with Teton Financial Services, the parent company of Rocky Mountain Bank. The combined firm had over $7 billion in assets under management at the time.

Scott Wylie, the CEO of First Western Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MYFW), noted during the fourth quarter earnings call that the company had increased book value per share by 116% since the initial offering in 2018, with around 20% of that increase coming in 2021 alone.

Among the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, New York-based firm Basswood Capital is a leading shareholder in First Western Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MYFW) with 498,053 shares worth more than $15 million.

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, 8 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $28 million in First Western Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MYFW), up from 5 in the preceding quarter worth $20 million.

7. Drive Shack Inc. (NYSE:DS)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 8

Drive Shack Inc. (NYSE:DS) operates as a leisure and entertainment firm. It owns and runs golf resorts that comprise around 55 properties spread across nine states in the country. The stock stands to benefit as virus restrictions are lifted across the globe and people return to entertainment centers. The Puttery segment of the firm is expected to lead this boom as Drive Shack plans to have around 15 of these venues running in 2022. The company is also working to expand through borrowed capital not due till 2035.

On March 11, Drive Shack Inc. (NYSE:DS) posted earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021, beating analyst expectations on earnings per share and revenue by $0.01 and $1 million respectively. At the end of the 2021 fiscal year, the firm had almost $60 million cash in hand.

Among the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, New York-based investment firm Lansing Management is a leading shareholder in Drive Shack Inc. (NYSE:DS) with 3.2 million shares worth more than $4.6 million.

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, 8 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $6 million in Drive Shack Inc. (NYSE:DS), up from 7 in the preceding quarter worth $11 million.

6. Ikena Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:IKNA)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 8

Ikena Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:IKNA) operates as a targeted oncology firm. The company focuses on the development of medicines for unmet medical needs. It is presently working on many such projects, including IK-930, an oral small molecule inhibitor of the transcriptional enhanced associate domain, and IK-175, an oral inhibitor of aryl hydrocarbon receptor. On March 17, the firm posted earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021, beating analyst estimates on earnings per share and revenue by $0.59 and $15 million respectively.

On March 17, Credit Suisse analyst Judah Frommer maintained an Outperform rating on Ikena Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:IKNA) stock with a price target of $24, highlighting the pipeline progress updates and fourth quarter results in a bullish analysis.

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, 8 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $153 million in Ikena Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:IKNA), the same as in the preceding quarter worth $208 million.

Among the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, New York-based investment firm OrbiMed Advisors is a leading shareholder in Ikena Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:IKNA) with 2.9 million shares worth more than $36 million.

In addition to Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Ikena Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:IKNA) is one of the stocks that institutional investors are monitoring.

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Disclosure. None. 10 Best Micro-Cap Stocks to Buy According to Hedge Funds is originally published on Insider Monkey.

Minnie Arwood

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