Written by Rebecca Lipman



Common knowledge dictates that small-cap stocks are inherently risky, and should be avoided under the pretense of a European recession. But, naturally, not everyone agrees.
"Now would be a terrible time to abandon small-cap stocks," writes Louis Basenese of Wall Street Daily. He reasons:

1. Europe doesn't matter: Even if Europe is headed for recession, which Basenese admits is very likely, small-cap companies are not in the line of fire. To suggest otherwise is to confuse them with large-caps that have influence beyond U.S. boards. "Their business is mostly domestic. Heck, many small caps don't do any business in overseas markets."

Ergo, as long as the U.S. economy is healthy, small-caps will thrive.

2. Greater recovery: Small-caps took a harder beating than large caps in 2011, but doesn't that imply they are ready for an even greater recovery? Indeed, small-caps are "up 38%, outpacing large caps by almost eight full percentage points."

3. They're still cheap: "Since July 2011, small-cap stocks have gotten 20% cheaper, based on the average price-to-earnings ratio. In comparison, large-cap stocks have only gotten about 5% cheaper."

Interactive Chart: Use the Compar-O-Matic to compare analyst ratings for the first nine stocks mentioned below:



What do you think? Are small-caps big-money opportunities right now?

For stock ideas, we screened a universe of stocks for the following characteristics:

USA company
-Market caps between $50 million and $400 million
-EPS growth this year above 5%
-EPS growth next year above 5%
-Average trading volume above 100K
-Institutional buying in the current quarter
-Insider buying in the past six months

So, do you think the following names are poised for growth? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Microvision Inc. (Nasdaq:MVIS): Engages in the development of miniature laser display and imaging engines based upon its proprietary PicoP display engine technology. Market cap at $50.38M. EPS growth this year at 38.32%. EPS growth next year at 30.2%. Average volume at 246.59K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 1.3M shares, which represents about 8.15% of the company's float of 15.96M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 137,900 shares, which represents about 0.86% of the company's 15.96M share float

2. Celsion Corp. (Nasdaq:CLSN): Develops and commercializes targeted chemotherapeutic oncology drugs based on its proprietary heat-activated liposomal technology. Market cap at $63.45M. EPS growth this year at 26.99%. EPS growth next year at 14.3%. Average volume at 520.89K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 4.2M shares, which represents about 14.64% of the company's float of 28.69M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 102,713 shares, which represents about 0.36% of the company's 28.69M share float

3. Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq:VTSS): Engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of semiconductor products to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of carrier and enterprise networking products, and data center infrastructure systems worldwide. Market cap at $93.71M. EPS growth this year at 36.77%. EPS growth next year at 220%. Average volume at 119.55K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 2.0M shares, which represents about 11.66% of the company's float of 17.15M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 114,300 shares, which represents about 0.67% of the company's 17.15M share float

4. MEMSIC, Inc. (Nasdaq:MEMS): Provides semiconductor sensor and system solutions based on integrated micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology and mixed signal circuit design. Market cap at $108.43M. EPS growth this year at 17.45%. EPS growth next year at 900%. Average volume at 140.82K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 918.7K shares, which represents about 10.85% of the company's float of 8.47M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 81,830 shares, which represents about 0.97% of the company's 8.47M share float

5. MPG Office Trust, Inc. (NYSE:MPG): Engages in the ownership, management, acquisition, and development of office and real estate properties primarily in California. Market cap at $125.35M. EPS growth this year at 46.99%. EPS growth next year at 96.5%. Average volume at 262.35K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 2.3M shares, which represents about 5.01% of the company's float of 45.90M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 74,184 shares, which represents about 0.16% of the company's 45.90M share float

6. Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq:CERS): Engages in the development and commercialization of the INTERCEPT Blood System. Market cap at $223.89M. EPS growth this year at 15.78%. EPS growth next year at 21.2%. Average volume at 559.75K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 6.5M shares, which represents about 12.33% of the company's float of 52.73M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 50,000 shares, which represents about 0.09% of the company's 52.73M share float

7. Entercom Communications Corp. (NYSE:ETM): Operates as a radio broadcasting company in the United States. Market cap at $245.88M. EPS growth this year at 47.21%. EPS growth next year at 5.19%. Average volume at 138.65K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 704.3K shares, which represents about 3.7% of the company's float of 19.02M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 30,000 shares, which represents about 0.16% of the company's 19.02M share float

8. Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq:PCRX): Engages in the development, commercialization, and manufacture of pharmaceutical products for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. Market cap at $293M. EPS growth this year at 14.38%. EPS growth next year at 26.6%. Average volume at 125.95K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 6.6M shares, which represents about 54.64% of the company's float of 12.08M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 689,481 shares, which represents about 5.71% of the company's 12.08M share float

9. CIBER, Inc. (NYSE:CBR): Operates as an information technology (IT) consulting, services, and outsourcing company worldwide. Market cap at $316.46M. EPS growth this year at 8.13%. EPS growth next year at 100%. Average volume at 276.22K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 3.0M shares, which represents about 4.6% of the company's float of 65.28M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 50,000 shares, which represents about 0.08% of the company's 65.28M share float

10. DepoMed Inc. (Nasdaq:DEPO): Develops and commercializes pharmaceutical products based on its proprietary oral drug delivery technologies in the United States. Market cap at $361.14M. EPS growth this year at 1630.4%. EPS growth next year at 96.1%. Average volume at 456.4K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 2.6M shares, which represents about 5.03% of the company's float of 51.72M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 25,000 shares, which represents about 0.05% of the company's 51.72M share float.

11. Smart Balance, Inc (Nasdaq:SMBL): Distributes various food products in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $377.22M. EPS growth this year at 107.84%. EPS growth next year at 29.63%. Average volume at 357.25K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 2.3M shares, which represents about 4.71% of the company's float of 48.84M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 22,610 shares, which represents about 0.05% of the company's 48.84M share float.

12. Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp. (NYSE:MNR): Is a real estate investment trust. It owns, manages, and leases properties to investment-grade tenants on long-term leases. Market cap at $388.42M. EPS growth this year at 11.04%. EPS growth next year at 6.67%. Average volume at 102.24K. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 3.1M shares, which represents about 8.2% of the company's float of 37.81M shares. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 19,302 shares, which represents about 0.05% of the company's 37.81M share float.

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Disclosure: Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman does not own any of the shares mentioned above. Institutional data sourced from fidelity, insider data from Yahoo! Finance. All other data sourced from Finviz.

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