11 Best Small-Cap Technology Stocks That Could Hit It Big in 2015

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Which small technology companies could become the next Facebook (FB) , Google (GOOGL) or Apple (AAPL) ?

Getting in on the ground floor is one way to reap the benefits of a fast-growing technology company. Another is buying shares of small-cap tech companies that hit it big.

The S&P Information Technology Sector Index is up 20% this year compared to the S&P 500 Index, which is up 12%. But which small-cap tech stocks should you target for the best returns? 

TheStreet Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary stock rating tool projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 30 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating stocks. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

The 11 stocks on the list are all small-cap stocks (market capitalizations of below $1 billion) and have a "buy" rating, with a B or better grade from TheStreet Ratings. Click through to see which is the top-rated small-cap tech stock.

11. Cimatron (CIMT)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: -2.6%

Cimatron together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and supports computer-aided design/computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software products.

"We rate CIMATRON LTD (CIMT) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: CIMT Ratings Report

10. ClearOne (CLRO)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 10.6%

ClearOne, Inc. designs, develops, and sells conferencing, collaboration, streaming, and digital signage solutions for audio and visual communications in the United States and internationally.

"We rate CLEARONE INC (CLRO) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: CLRO Ratings Report

 

9. Edgewater Technology (EDGW)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date Return: 7.3%

Edgewater Technology provides advisory and product-based consulting services in North America.

"We rate EDGEWATER TECHNOLOGY INC (EDGW) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: EDGW Ratings Report

 

8. Elecsys (ESYS)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 32%

Elecsys provides machine to machine (M2M) communication technology solutions, data acquisition and management systems, and custom electronic equipment for critical industrial applications worldwide.

"We rate ELECSYS CORP (ESYS) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: ESYS Ratings Report

 

7. GlobalSCAPE (GSB)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 4.6%

GlobalSCAPE, together with its subsidiaries, develops and distributes software, delivers managed and hosted solutions, and provides associated services for secure information exchange for enterprises and consumers worldwide.

"We rate GLOBALSCAPE INC (GSB) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: GSB Ratings Report

 

6. Mocon (MOCO)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 10%

MOCON, together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufacturers, and markets measurement, analytical, and monitoring products to barrier packaging, food, pharmaceutical, consumer products, industrial hygiene, air quality monitoring, oil and gas exploration, and other industries worldwide.

"We rate MOCON INC (MOCO) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: MOCO Ratings Report

 

5. Peerless Systems (PRLS)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 50%

Peerless Systems develops and licenses software-based digital imaging and networking systems and supporting electronic technologies to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of digital document products located primarily in the United States and Japan.

"We rate PEERLESS SYSTEMS CORP (PRLS) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: PRLS Ratings Report

 

4. Relm Wireless (RWC)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 42%

RELM Wireless designs, manufactures, and markets wireless communications products under the BK Radio and RELM brand names in the United States and internationally. Its products include two-way land mobile radios, repeaters, base stations, and related components and subsystems.

"We rate RELM WIRELESS CORP (RWC) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: RWC Ratings Report

 

3. Wireless Telecom Group (WTT)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 26%

Wireless Telecom together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets electronic noise sources, electronic testing and measurement instruments, and passive microwave components to commercial and government customers in the electronics industry.

"We rate WIRELESS TELECOM GROUP INC (WTT) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: WTT Ratings Report

2. Wayside Technology (WSTG)

Rating: Buy, B+

Year-to-date return: 30%

Wayside Technology operates as an information technology channel company in the United States and Canada. The company resells computer software and hardware developed by others, as well as provides technical services to customers primarily in the United States and Canada.

"We rate WAYSIDE TECHNOLOGY GROUP INC (WSTG) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: WSTG Ratings Report

 

1. MIND C.T.I. (MNDO)

Rating: Buy, A+

Year-to-date return: 79%

MIND C.T.I. together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets real-time and off-line billing and customer care software in the Americas, the Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, and Israel.

"We rate MIND CTI LTD (MNDO) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and solid stock price performance. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: MNDO Ratings Report

 

- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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