Best Small Companies of 2012
Despite a painful GDP growth rate of 0.5% on average during the past five years, several companies have had an upswing in fortunes. Some of the companies that have experienced strong growth in the last five years and have promising prospects in the coming years have been listed below:
1) Solar WInds
SolarWinds is a software company, which develops software to monitor servers and networks. . This Texas-based company manufactures products with 80% of the functionality of rival offerings Hewlett-Packard and IBM and markets it at one-tenth the market price. Since 2006, the company has had a staggering growth of 38%. The company’s stocks have jumped a whopping 140%. The earnings per share has stood at a significant 36% and the return on equity per share is 54%.
2) Grand Canyon Education
Grand Canyon Education offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in education, business, healthcare, and liberal arts. While ground programs are offered in its 100 acre campus in Phoenix, Arizona onsite programs are offered at the facilities of employers. The Company primarily focuses on recruiting and educating working adults. At March 31, 2011, it had approximately 42,500 students. With net sales of $458 million, the company witnessed a sales growth of 47% with earnings per share at 236%. The return on equity per share for this company is 27%.
3) American Public Education
The American Public Education offers online postsecondary education for the military and public service communities. It constitutes two universities: the American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU) with a common faculty and curriculum. It offers 79 degree programs and 65 certificate programs in disciplines related to military studies, national security, business administration, technology, nursing, education, and liberal arts. With net sales of $291 million, the company witnessed a sales growth of 44% with earnings per share at 54%. The return on equity per share for this company is 35%.
4) Sturm, Ruger & Company
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. is a firearms manufacturing company which caters mainly to the domestic customer. The firearms wing of the company manufactures and sells pistols, rifles, revolvers, and shotguns to US based licensed wholesale distributors. It principally targets the commercial sporting sector. The firearms section constitutes 99% of its business. With net sales of $406 million, the company witnessed a sales growth of 16% with earnings per share at 99%. The return on equity per share for this company is 24%.
5) Metropolitan Health Networks
Metropolitan Health Networks operates the provider services network (PSN) through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Metcare of Florida, Inc. and Continucare Corporation (Continucare). It provides healthcare services to Medicaid beneficiaries and Medicare Advantage in the State of Florida. As of 2011, the PSN operated in 18 Florida counties, including the Ft.Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Daytona and Tampa metropolitan areas. On October 4, 2011, it acquired Continucare. It kicked off its services in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties from January 2012 under a mutually exclusive arrangement with Humana’s Medicare Advantage plan. With net sales of $656 million, the company witnessed a sales growth of 14% with earnings per share as high as 99%. The return on equity per share for this company is 30%.
6) IEC Electronics Corp. (IEC)
IEC Electronics Corp. (IEC) provides electronic manufacturing services (EMS) to technology companies. It specializes in system level assemblies, circuit card manufacture, custom cable and wire harness assemblies, and precision sheet metal. In 2010 it acquired Celmet Co., Inc. (Celmet), a manufacturer of metal chassis and assemblies and the Southern California Braiding Company, Inc.. In the preceding year the company acquired the General Technology Corporation (GTC) from Crane International Holdings which served the market in the same field. With net sales of $143 million, the company witnessed a sales growth of 40% with earnings per share at 79%. The return on equity per share for this company is 39%.
7) Questcor Pharmaceuticals
Questcor Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company. Its main product is the H.P. Acthar Gel, an injectable drug approved for the treatment of 19 indications. However, this medication is mostly sought after for the treatment of acute multiple sclerosis (MS), in adults, and in infantile spasms (IS), in children below two years of age. This accounts for bulk of the company’s revenue inflow. Acthar is also used to treat Collagen Diseases, Rheumatic Disorders, Dermatologic Diseases and Respiratory Diseases. With net sales of $344 million, the company witnessed a sales growth of 61% with earnings per share at 20%. The return on equity per share for this company is 54%.
8) Cirrus Logic
Cirrus Logic develops high-precision, analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for audio and energy markets. The company also develops ICs, board-level modules and hybrids for high-power amplifier applications branded as the Apex Precision Power (Apex) line of products. With net sales of $434 million, the company has seen a sales growth of 21% with earnings per share at 64%. The return on equity is 20%.
9) Rue 21
When it comes to new fashion and trends rue21, rules the roost. It offers the newest fashion trends for girls and guys. As of early 2010, the Company ran 535 stores in 43 states throughout the United States. The company is also known for its own brands, such as rue21 etc!, tarea, Carbon, and rueKicks, to bring about variety in stores. With net sales of $822 million, the company had a growth of 28% with earnings per share at 38%. The return on equity is as high as 55%.
10) Medifast, Inc. (Medifast)
Medifast produces weight and disease management products and other oral health and diet products. Some of its well known products include Medifast 55 Shakes, Medifast 70 Shakes, Medifast Plus for Appetite Suppression Shakes, Medifast Plus for Women’s Health Shakes, Medifast Plus for Diabetics Shakes, Medifast Plus for Joint Health Shakes etc. Five of its wholly owned subsidiaries that run the companies business include: Take Shape for Life, Inc. (TSFL), Jason Pharmaceuticals, Inc. JasonJason Enterprises, Inc., Jason Properties, LLC and Seven Crondall, LLC. With net sales of $330 million, the company had a growth of 36% with earnings per share at 41%. The return on equity stood at 23%.
Needless to say, the New Year belongs to these companies. Though there is lot more to look forward, analysts would love to keep their fingers crossed.