5 Small-Cap Winners

By Billy Fisher | May 18, 2009 AAA

The markets' choppy waters have made for many lucrative buying opportunities. Small-cap growth stocks present one compelling space where some of these opportunities are to be had. Below, we'll look at five small caps on an upswing.

IN PICTURES: Eight Ways To Survive A Market Downturn

A Well-Oiled Machine
The oil service company, Dril-Quip (NYSE:DRQ), has been able to maintain its footing while many other companies with ties to the oil industry have floundered, following a steep decline in oil prices. The company is a manufacturer of offshore drilling equipment for deepwater oil drilling companies. Year-to-date, shares of Dril-Quip have risen 87.7%. The notion that the company has been able to hold revenue to only a 3.7% decline in Q1 versus a year ago is remarkable. Dril-Quip's net income has remained steady and its backlog has actually increased. (For more, see Oil And Gas Industry Primer)

Staying with the oil success theme, Western Refining (NYSE:WNR) is also off to a monster start in 2009. The refiner's stock is up 81.4% so far this year as the drop in crude prices has lowered the company's input costs. The favorable market conditions enabled Western to cash in with one of the most profitable Q1s in the company's history, as it swung from a net loss of $40.4 million in Q1 of 2008 to a profit of $58.9 million in Q1 of 2009.

A company that is also likely to indirectly benefit from lower oil prices is BE Aerospace (Nasdaq: BEAV). The aerospace and defense parts manufacturer watched its stock price drop precipitously last year as crude prices and the cost to travel skyrocketed while the economy slowed. The company has seen a decline in revenue from its business segment, which makes interior parts for commercial aircraft, although the drop has been offset by incremental revenues brought in from an asset purchase agreement that the company closed with Honeywell (NYSE:HON) last summer. Shares of BE Aerospace have rebounded 56% in 2009.

Rising Real Estate
The collapse in real estate prices brought severe pain for shareholders of CB Richard Ellis Group (NYSE:CBG) last year. The company, which is engaged in the leasing and management of commercial real estate, recently reported a Q1 loss of $36.7 or 14 cents per diluted share. To offset expected revenue declines, the company has taken an aggressive approach to cutting away excess overhead costs. The outsourcing segment of CB Richard Ellis added 10 new corporate clients in Q1, including Pepsico (NYSE:PEP). The company's stock has risen 67.7% year-to-date.

Rising interest costs sunk the quarterly results released by the Brazilian meat products company, Sadia (NYSE:SDA), after the market close on May 14. The interest payments were being made on loans that were being used to cover losses on futures contracts. However, the company did experience gains on domestic sales as well as averages selling prices in Brazil. Sadia is expecting exports to kick up in the coming quarters and improve the firm's earnings power. Shares of Sadia are up 38.1% so far in 2009.

The Bottom Line
A bear market usually brings about great buying opportunities. These five small cap stocks are prime examples of companies that have cashed in on the market's recent recovery. As the markets experience future pullbacks, there are bound to be countless other prospects that will emerge in the small cap space. (For more, see Introduction To Small Caps.)

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