Thinking Big? Buy Small Cap Stocks

It is a downturn that has defied many of the lessons of the past, but some portfolio managers are convinced that, as in previous recoveries, small-cap stocks will be in the front rank as this market marches back.

Eric Marshall of the Hodges Small Cap Fund is one of them.

"Typically, there's a lot of beaten-down values out there," he told CNBC. "About 90 percent of the time, the small-cap stocks actually perform the best in the 12 months after a recession. We think small-cap stocks offer a great risk-reward."

Although the Dow Jones Industrials and the small-cap Russell 2000 are both down by about a third, year-over-year, the Russell is up 22 percent from the November lows, while the Dow is up 9 percent.


The next question, of course, involves which small-caps to buy.

"We like one that's kind of overlooked out there, Titan Machinery, a Case-New Holland (farm equipment) dealership in the upper Midwest," he said. "This company is growing both organically and through acquisition, sitting on a pile of cash, no debt, and trading at about ten times earnings."

Also on his list are fashion-watch maker Fossil, and energy producers Aegean Marine Petroleum Network and Atwood Oceanics.


Neither Marshall, his family, nor his firm owns shares or has any business relationship with Titan Machinery, Fossil, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network or Atwood Oceanics.