Small cap stocks are listed companies that have market capitalizations ranging from $300 million to $2 billion. Since the share prices of these companies can have big fluctuations over a short period of time, companies with market caps of up to $10 billion are also found in the small cap universe. Owing to their small-sized classification, companies in industrial sectors make up a large share of the small cap universe. Some of the stocks classified as small cap include cloud computing business Fastly Inc. (FSLY), fitness and wellness company Tivity Health Inc (TVTY), and gaming firm Century Casinos Inc. (CNTY). As reflected by the Russell 2000 Index (RUT), small cap stocks have lagged behind the S&P 500, returning 8.0% in the trailing 12-month period compared with 19.8% for the S&P. All numbers are as of November 22, 2019.

Below, we'll look at the top small cap stocks for value, growth, and momentum for December 2019.

Small Cap Stocks with the Best Value

Here are the small cap stocks in the S&P 500 with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio in the sector. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Small Cap Stocks with the Best Value
  Price ($) Market Cap ($) 12-Month Trailing P/E
California Resources Corp. (CRC) 8.20 322.7M 0.85
Southwestern Energy Co (SWN) 2.11 1,000M 0.93
Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. (CRZO) 6.53 671.4M 1.0
Source: YCharts
  • California Resources Corp.: California Resources is an energy company involved in oil and natural gas exploration and production. As its name suggests, the company focuses its efforts on sites in California. Although the company's stock has declined significantly throughout the year, it received a boost in early November based on strong Q3 2019 figures, including adjusted profit of $0.35 per share (ahead of analyst expectations of a loss of $0.50 per share).
  • Southwestern Energy Co.: Like California Resources, Southwestern Energy also explores, develops, and produces natural gas and crude oil products. In this company's case, though, the geographical focus is Texas. The firm has set a goal of free cash flow neutrality by the end of next year. Also, Q3 2019 saw an improvement of diluted earnings per share over Q3 2018, moving from a $0.05 loss to earnings of $0.09.
  • Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc.: The third company on the list of best value small cap stocks is also a natural gas and crude oil business. Carrizo Oil & Gas utilizes onshore properties in Texas. The company has recently been in negotiations to solidify terms under which Callon Petroleum Co. will acquire Carrizo.

Small Cap Stocks with the Fastest Earnings Growth

Here are the small cap stocks in the S&P 500 with the highest year-over-year (YOY) earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and is generating more money that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.

Small Cap Stocks with the Fastest Earnings Growth
  Price ($) Market Cap ($) EPS Growth (%)
Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG) 15.66 818.4M 5,740%
Cannae Holdings Inc. (CNNE) 37.02 2.7B 3,100%
Ares Management Corp. (ARES) 32.18 7.4B 2,480%
Source: YCharts
  • Signet Jewelers Ltd.: Signet Jewelers is a retail company specializing in the sale of jewelry, watches, and other accessories. This business is perhaps best known to customers for its subsidiaries, including Zales, Kay Jewelers, and Jared. For its fiscal Q2 2020 quarter, ending on August 3, 2019, Signet same store sales fell 1.5% year-over-year, while e-commerce sales rose by 4.4%.
  • Cannae Holdings Inc.: One of many holding companies in the universe of small cap stocks, Cannae Holdings owns a group of subsidiary companies in the restaurant, health care, and financial services industries. Beginning in September 2019, Cannae launched a 3-year stock repurchase plan under which the company may buy back up to 5 million shares of common stock.
  • Ares Management Corp.: Asset management company Ares Management focuses on private equity, direct lending, tradeable credit, and more. In the most recent quarter, Ares saw fee-related earnings growth soar by 35%.

Small Cap Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the small cap stocks in the S&P 500 that had the greatest total return over the past 12 months.

Small Cap Stocks with the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Axsome Therapeutics Inc. (AXSM) 34.12 1.2B 959.6
Constellation Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CNST) 40.41 1.4B 590.8
EverQuote Inc. ( EVER) 31.28 817.6M 470.8
S&P 500 (SPY) -- -- 19.8
Russell 2000 (RUT) -- -- 8.0
Source: YCharts
  • Axsome Therapeutics Inc.: Axsome Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing drug treatments for central nervous system disorders as well as other health issues. Much of Axsome's stock growth throughout 2019 may be linked to the promise of one of its lead drugs, AXS-05, which has seen numerous clinical trial successes as a therapeutic for agitation associated with Alzheimer's as well as treatment resistant depression.
  • Constellation Pharmaceuticals Inc.: Also a biopharmaceutical company, Constellation creates drug treatments for cancer as well as immunologic and inflammatory disorders. In the most recent quarter, Constellation reported encouraging clinical trial results for a drug aiming to treat patients with a form of bone marrow cancer.
  • EverQuote Inc.: EverQuote is an online market firm with a platform connecting customers with auto insurance agents and carriers. In Q3 2019, EverQuote reported a 61% YOY increase in revenue to $67.1 million.