12 Small-Cap Industrials Stocks That Could Hit It Big in 2015

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Small-cap stocks could be a good investing opportunity if you're looking to get in on a company that may be small today but has potential to hit it big.

TheStreet analyzed which small-cap industrials stocks present the best opportunity for investors looking for exposure to the sector.

The S&P 500 Industrial Sector Index is up 9.3% this year compared to the broader S&P 500 index this year, which is up 13%.

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 12 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. Which small-cap industrials stocks should you target for the best returns? Click through to see which companies are top-rated stocks.

Breeze-Eastern Corp. (BZC)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 9.5%

Breeze-Eastern Corp. designs, develops, manufactures, sells, and services engineered mission equipment for specialty aerospace and defense applications.

"We rate BREEZE-EASTERN CORP (BZC) 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, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. 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: BZC Ratings Report

 

CompX International (CIX)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: -18.7%

CompX International Inc. manufactures and sells security products and recreational marine components primarily in North America. The company operates through two segments, Security Products and Marine Components.

"We rate COMPX INTERNATIONAL INC (CIX) 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, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

Chicago Rivet & Machine Co. (CVR)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: -9.4%

Chicago Rivet & Machine Co. operates in the fastener industry in the United States. It operates through two segments, Fastener and Assembly Equipment. The Fastener segment manufactures and sells rivets, cold-formed fasteners and parts, and screw machine products.

"We rate CHICAGO RIVET & MACHINE CO (CVR) 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. 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: CVR Ratings Report

 

EnviroStar (EVI)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 3.1%

EnviroStar, Inc. distributes commercial and industrial laundry equipment, dry cleaning equipment, and steam and hot waters boilers in the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The company also supplies replacement parts and accessories, as well as provides maintenance services.

"We rate ENVIROSTAR INC (EVI) 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, notable return on equity, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

Jewett-Cameron Trading Co. (JCTCF)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 0.5%

Jewett-Cameron Trading Company Ltd., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and distributes specialty metal products, and distributes wood products to home centers and other retailers primarily in the United States.

"We rate JEWETT-CAMERON TRADING CO (JCTCF) 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share."

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

Pioneer Power Solutions (PPSI)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: -9.5%

Pioneer Power Solutions, Inc., a specialty electrical equipment manufacturer, provides electrical transformers for applications in the utility, industrial, and commercial segments of the electrical transmission and distribution industry.

"We rate PIONEER POWER SOLUTIONS INC (PPSI) 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, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

Providence and Worcester Railroad Co. (PWX)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: -4.9%

Providence and Worcester Railroad Company, a short-line freight railroad, provides interstate freight carrier services in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York

"We rate PROVIDENCE AND WORCESTER RR (PWX) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, 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 and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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

Taylor Devices (TAYD)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 22%

Taylor Devices, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and markets shock absorption, rate control, and energy storage devices for use in various types of machinery, equipment, and structures.

"We rate TAYLOR DEVICES INC (TAYD) 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, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

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

Transcat (TRNS)

Rating: Buy, B

Year-to-date return: 22.6%

Transcat, Inc. provides calibration, repair, inspection, and compliance services in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The company also distributes professional grade handheld test, measurement, and control instrumentation.

"We rate TRANSCAT INC (TRNS) 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, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

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

Highway Holdings (HIHO)

Rating: Buy, B+

Year-to-date return: -0.3%

Highway Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells metal, plastic, electric, and electronic components, subassemblies, and finished products for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and contract manufacturers.

"We rate HIGHWAY HOLDINGS LTD (HIHO) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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

 

Air T (AIRT)

Rating: Buy, B+

Year-to-date return: 105%

Air T, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides overnight air cargo, ground equipment sales, and ground support services in the United States and internationally.

"We rate AIR T INC (AIRT) 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, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

Acme United (ACU)

Rating: Buy, B+

Year-to-date return: 27%

Acme United Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, supplies cutting, measuring, and first aid products to the school, home, office, hardware, sporting goods, and industrial markets in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

"We rate ACME UNITED CORP (ACU) 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 robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and compelling growth in net income. 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: ACU Ratings Report

 

 

 

- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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