The Most Undervalued and Best-Performing Small-Cap Stars Consumer Goods Stocks

Michael Teague  |

The setting of new all-time highs by the benchmark US indices has been a frequent occurrence throughout 2013 that it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the fact the higher stock prices are not necessarily synonymous with a healthier underlying economy.

All the same, the performance of individual sectors can provide valuable clues about how the economy is moving along. It can also provide investors with important clues about where the next opportunities might be found.

The consumer goods sector is often used as a weathervane for the state of the US economy. Investors looking for stocks in that sector are likely aware that consumer spending, which makes up about 70 percent of the US economy, came in higher than expected for the month of October on an increase of 0.3 percent. Assuming that the economy is indeed slowly improving, small-caps in the consumer goods sector could provide interesting ways to play the recovery early.

The following four stocks were selected from among the highest-rated companies on the Small-Cap Stars consumer goods index.

Our analysts have developed a methodology by which to locate some of the most compelling equity prospects in the small-cap space. These four stocks are attractive for their impressive year-to-date returns, but also for their low price-earnings multiples relative to the consumer goods sector average that sits around 20.

Wabash National (WNC)

Industry: Trucks & Other Vehicles

Market Cap: $814.31 million

Price: $11.58

P/E Ratio: 7.08

Year-to-Date Return: + 32.55 percent

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The Lafayette, Indiana-based company designs, produces, and markets truck trailers, equipment, and transportation-related products throughout North America.

Inter Parfums Inc. (IPAR)

Industry: Personal Products

Market Cap: $1.09 billion

Price: $34.94

P/E Ratio: 7.67

Year-to-Date Return: +87.44 percent

The New York, NY-based company makes its money from the manufacture and sale of fragrances, perfumes, and skin-care products worldwide.

Neenah Paper (NP)

Industry: Paper & Paper Products

Market Cap: $617.07 million

Price: $40.66

P/E Ratio: 15.28

Year-to-Date Return: + 48.75 percent

The Alpharetta, Georgia-based company produces a wide range of paper-based products, for industrial use, as well as in the form of home cleaning products, office stationery, and art supplies.

Hyster-Yale Materials Handling (HY)

Industry: Trucks & Other Vehicles

Market Cap: $1.45 billion

Price: $83.15

P/E Ratio: 12.47

Year-to-Date Return: + 80.47 percent

The Cleveland, Ohio-based company designs, engineers, manufactures, and services a variety of lift trucks and aftermarket parts for the transportation of goods.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


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