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Many of the institutional clients of The Applied Finance Group, Ltd. (AFG) tend to focus on large cap stocks and benchmark themselves against the S&P 500 Index, which is why many of the buy ideas from usually come from the large cap index. Earlier in the week we highlighted companies from our buy/sell list both from large and small cap, as well as from growth and value style universes. We thought it would be a good follow up for some of the investors we work with who focus on small and mid cap stocks, to provide a more thorough list of companies from the Russell 2000 Index.

Below is a summary of 20 companies to watch from the Russell 2000 Index. The table highlights the 2 companies from each sector (ex. Financials) that have the most attractive Value Score (above 80) and are currently rated Neutral or higher by AFG’s buy/sell criteria. Factors used to derive an AFG recommendation include: Expected change in Economic Margins, Intrinsic Value, and Management Quality. Many classify stocks with market capitalization under $250 million as micro caps, therefore only those companies within the index that met that market cap minimum were considered for the list.

Russell 2000 - Stocks to Watch (above $250 million, ex financials)

What do we use to measure corporate performance and calculate an intrinsic value:
AFG’s Economic Margin - A corporate performance measurement that addresses the gaps in GAAP, eliminating distortions caused by accounting policies to measure what a company is truly earning above or below its cost of capital. Our Economic Margin Framework encompasses a valuation system that explicitly addresses the four main value drivers of enterprise value: profitability, competition, growth, and cost of capital.
AFG's Valuation Metric – Measures the percent to target (deviation between a stock’s current trading price and its AFG current default target price). To derive the intrinsic value of a firm, AFG uses its proprietary Valuation Model (modified discounted cash flow model).
Management Quality – Assesses management’s ability to make wealth creating decisions.
AFG's Value Universe - Companies in the AFG universe, which have MV/IC at the bottom 50% of the universe and have EPS estimates.