5. Ryland Group engages in the business of homebuilding and mortgage finance. The company operates through four regional segments: north, southeast, Texas and west. Housing gross profit margins averaged 14.5% from 15.9% in the second quarter of 2010. Net loss for the second quarter of 2011 was $10.7 million, including pretax charges of $5.8 million related to inventory and write-offs. For the same period in 2010, net loss was $21.8 million. Active communities increased to 219 compared to 181 communities for the quarter ended Mar. 2011. Backlog increased 20.3% to 1,646 units from 1,368 units in the same quarter of 2010. Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities stood at $613.5 million at the end the quarter. The average price target of analysts covering the stock is $17.10, 44% greater than recent levels. Forty-seven percent of analysts covering the stock give it a buy rating. Shares are trading with a P/E of 30, based on 2012 earnings estimates.
Since this summer's market low, small-cap stocks have been outperforming large-cap stocks. Here are small caps with 'persistently strong top-line growth and improving fundamentals,' according to RBC Capital Markets.