Displaying items by tag: small caps
Small-cap stocks appear to be having their moment this year outperforming their large-cap peers. The S&P 600 small-cap index is currently on pace to outperform the S&P 500 for the first time since 2016. One reason for their outperformance is a strong U.S. dollar. This is due to the negative effect that a strong dollar has on the profits of multinational companies. A strong dollar harms U.S. companies that sell goods overseas by making them less affordable. Smaller companies, on the other hand, are more insulated from adverse currency effects as most of their business is done stateside. For instance, companies in the S&P 600 index generate only 20% of their revenue outside the U.S, while companies in the S&P 500 generate 40% of their sales abroad. This had led to some of the largest companies in the U.S warning of currency risks in their latest earnings calls. In addition to a strong dollar, small caps are also benefitting from better valuations. According to FactSet, the S&P 600 is trading at 10.8 times expected earnings over the next 12 months, which is well below the S&P 500’s forward price/earnings ratio of 15.3.
Finsum: Small-cap stocks are outperforming large-cap stocks this year due to a strong U.S. dollar and more attractive valuations.
Based on research released Monday, Lori Calvasina, head of U.S. equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, believes that small-cap stocks have already priced in a recession and are currently de-risked. Calvasina noted that small-cap performance has been stable since January and is in a narrow trading range in comparison to large-caps. She stated, “While this doesn’t necessarily tell us that a bottom in the broader U.S. equity market is imminent, it does tell us that the equity market is behaving rationally. It has been our view for quite some time that small-caps, which underperformed large-cap dramatically in 2021, have already been de-risked and are baking in a recession.” She also pointed out the sectors that tend to perform best in the period leading up to the final rate increase in a rate-hike cycle. These include defensive sectors such as consumer staples, energy, financials, healthcare, and utilities. Calvasina wrote the sectors “tended to perform the best within the major index in the six-, three- and one-month periods before the final hikes in the past four Fed tightening cycles.”
Finsum: In a recent research note, Head RBC equity strategist Lori Calvasina believes that stable returns of small-cap stocks are due to recessionary factors already priced in.
Two strategists from Royce Investment Partners believe that now is the right time to consider small-cap stocks. In an article on Wealthmanagement.com, Francis Gannon and Steve Lipper gave six reasons why they believe the current environment is a great time to invest in small-cap stocks. The first reason is that small caps currently have superior valuations compared to large-cap stocks. Another reason to invest in small caps is the fact that small caps have a history of outperformance following periods of high investor anxiety and low-risk tolerance. Small caps have also historically beaten large caps following periods of deep declines. In addition, small caps operate in their own way; meaning there are significant differences between small and large caps in their long-term performance during different market cycles. Gannon and Lipper also mention that small caps are a highly heterogeneous asset class, indicating that there are so many small-cap companies that investors can find stocks in every sector and industry. The sixth and final reason is that investors lose out by waiting to put capital to work. They noted that small-cap recoveries have historically happened very quickly.
Finsum:Two strategists from Royce Investment Partners provide six compelling reasons why investors should consider small-cap stocks now.
Analysts at Jefferies are warning investors to avoid small-cap tech stocks due to their high valuations and falling earnings and revenue estimates. In a note, analysts said that their current valuations of 3.4 times sales are not cheap compared to their long-term average of 2.1 times sales. They believe there are “too many nonearners” and then tend to perform poorly when the Fed is hiking interest rates. However, the analysts aren’t telling investors to avoid small-cap stocks altogether, as they like names in the healthcare and consumer-discretionary sectors, which have been outperforming. Analysts stated that valuations in healthcare stocks haven’t jumped as much as their stock performance. Plus, mergers and acquisitions have picked up in the healthcare sector, which the analysts believe could help drive performance. They also believe that discretionary stocks are the cheapest sector in the small-cap range and they tend to outperform when coming out of bear markets.
Finsum:Jeffries analysts are warning investors to steer clear of small-cap tech stocks due to high valuations and falling earnings and revenue estimates.
Small caps have been sluggish since Q2 2022 most indicated by the poorer returns in the Russell 2000 and S&P 600 Small Cap. However, things could turn around for the smaller companies moving forward. A value tilt is pervasive through many small cap companies and as the yield curve begins to steepen that value tilt will edge out over larger growth companies. The other factor favoring small caps is the pending corporate tax minimum. Only 1 of the S&P 600 small caps will see their liabilities rise but lots of S&P 500 companies will face new tax burdens which they previously avoided. This is a historic opportunity for small caps moving into 2022.
FINSUM: With Powell’s renomination it's more likely the yield curve will steepen as future rate hikes will be priced in but no real indication of a move currently; increasing the likelihood of a small cap comeback.