AAR Corp. (AIR) is up 24% thus far in 2016 and increasing traffic could send the airline and airport supplier's shares even higher, said Steve Raineri, portfolio manager for the Franklin Small Cap Value Fund (FRVLX) .
"AAR is seeing increased demand from airlines, plus they recently received a huge contract win from the State Department," said Raineri.
The Franklin Small Cap Value Fund is up 13.3% thus far in 2016, according to Morningstar. The $2.6 billion fund has returned an average of 11.4% annually over the past five years, outpacing 65% of its rivals in Morningstar's small-value category. The fund sports a trailing 12 month yield of 51 basis points, according to Morningstar.
Sensient Technologies (SXT) , up 19% year to date, is another one of Raineri's top picks. The flavors and fragrances specialist is seeing a boom in business as major food players seek to go more natural.
"Big food brands are reformulating their products, taking artificial colors out and Sensient is benefiting from that trend," said Raineri.
He is also bullish on Landec (LNDC) , up 10% in 2016, saying the ready-to-eat salad supplier has a number of different business lines that could see serious growth down the road.
"Landec owns part of a major greenhouse operator so it is a diversified company, it's more than just salad," said Raineri. "They have a growing pharmaceutical packaging business that we see as a long-term growth story."
Finally, Raineri is a fan of LTC Properties (LTC) , up 8% year to date, saying the health care-based REIT is a contrarian pick considering rates are on the rise and health care is being pressured by politics.
"LTC has positive demographic trends with the aging population and they are also attractive because they are a triple-net lease operator," said Raineri.