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Do you look for opportunities against market trends? If so, you may consider yourself a contrarian investor. We ran a screen you may find interesting.

We began by screening the small-cap sector for stocks with bearish sentiment, with float shorts above 10%.

We then screened for those with strong profitability compared to industry peers, with higher gross, operating, and pretax margins than their industry averages by at least 5% on each margin. This indicates that these companies are taking a greater percentage of their revenues as profits, and they also have stronger control over their cost structures.

For an interactive version of this chart, click on the image below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

Tool provided by Kapitall.

Do you think these stocks deserve such negative sentiment? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by difference between pretax margin and industry average.

1. First Financial Bankshares Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIN): Provides commercial banking products and services primarily in Texas. Market cap at $1.01B, most recent closing price at $32.22. Float short at 16.69%. TTM gross margin at 93.89% vs. industry average at 72.99%. TTM operating margin at 56.77% vs. industry average at 39.79%. TTM pretax margin at 44.39% vs. industry average at 23.9%.

2. Kronos Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:KRO): Engages in the production and marketing of titanium dioxide pigments in North America and Europe. Market cap at $1.79B, most recent closing price at $15.48. Float short at 29.03%. TTM gross margin at 43.72% vs. industry average at 37.5%. TTM operating margin at 31.4% vs. industry average at 17.49%. TTM pretax margin at 30.29% vs. industry average at 16.31%.

3. Texas Capital BancShares Inc. (NASDAQ:TCBI): Operates as the holding company for Texas Capital Bank, National Association that provides various banking products and services for commercial and high net worth customers in Texas. Market cap at $1.49B, most recent closing price at $39.18. Float short at 15.09%. TTM gross margin at 88.91% vs. industry average at 73.29%. TTM operating margin at 55.75% vs. industry average at 39.92%. TTM pretax margin at 37.62% vs. industry average at 23.92%.

4. City Holding Co. (NASDAQ:CHCO): Operates as the bank holding company for City National Bank of West Virginia that offers community banking services to consumers and local businesses. Market cap at $467.02M, most recent closing price at $31.77. Float short at 16.94%. TTM gross margin at 85.5% vs. industry average at 72.99%. TTM operating margin at 53.54% vs. industry average at 39.79%. TTM pretax margin at 37.09% vs. industry average at 23.9%.

5. Resolute Energy Corporation (NYSE:REN): Engages in the acquisition, exploration, exploitation, and development of oil and gas properties primarily in onshore properties in the United States. Market cap at $570.44M, most recent closing price at $9.22. Float short at 16.22%. TTM gross margin at 59.34% vs. industry average at 31.26%. TTM operating margin at 24% vs. industry average at 14.02%. TTM pretax margin at 31.16% vs. industry average at 18%.

6. Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (NYSE:BPI): Provides post-secondary education services. Market cap at $971.34M, most recent closing price at $18.53. Float short at 17.57%. TTM gross margin at 73% vs. industry average at 51.53%. TTM operating margin at 26.28% vs. industry average at 18.94%. TTM pretax margin at 25.44% vs. industry average at 15.93%.

7. Jos. A Bank Clothiers Inc. (NASDAQ:JOSB): Design, retails, and direct-markets men's tailored and casual clothing and accessories. Market cap at $1.11B, most recent closing price at $39.92. Float short at 16.41%. TTM gross margin at 64.52% vs. industry average at 37.74%. TTM operating margin at 15.67% vs. industry average at 10.52%. TTM pretax margin at 15.66% vs. industry average at 9.83%.

*Profitability data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: Contrarian Ideas: 7 Highly Shorted Small-Caps With Strong Profitability