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Naturally, investors are always looking for the next Apple Inc. (AAPL) or the next Google Inc. (GOOG). As all companies begin with modest capitalization, the question is, what differentiates the Apples and Googles from the, well, whoever they were?

A broad, easy answer, of course, is growth. Successful companies grow; unsuccessful companies don't.

If we look at a company's analyst-projected EPS (earnings per share) growth we are given a somewhat reliable look into its growth potential and future success.

Currently, the market medians of the projected EPS growth, this quarter versus the same quarter of the prior year (Q/Q), and the projected EPS growth, this year versus last year (Y/Y), are 5.91% and 11.06%, respectively. This series details 30 small cap stocks whose projected EPS growth far exceeds the market medians mentioned above.

Below are thirty small cap, analyst-backed stocks with strong growth potential:

1. Resources Connection Inc. (RECN) is a management services company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 68.89% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 82.17%. The company's market cap stands at $497.2 million with a 0.60 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.88 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, five hold, zero buy, and three strong buy ratings. Resources Connection Inc. also offers a 1.67% annual dividend, distributed to investors quarterly.

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2. Kona Grill Inc. (KONA) is a restaurants company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 31.82% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 79.29%. The company's market cap stands at $74.3 million with a 1.27 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.80 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, one hold, zero buy, and three strong buy ratings.

3. Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. (ANW) is a Greece-based wholesale company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 155.00% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 72.62%. The company's market cap stands at $245.5 million with a 1.31 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.03 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, one buy, and three strong buy ratings. Aegean Marine also offers a 0.76% annual dividend, distributed to investors quarterly.

4. CDI Corp. (CDI) is a staffing and outsourcing company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 52.14% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 57.68%. The company's market cap stands at $319.0 million with a 0.98 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.29 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, three hold, zero buy, and one strong buy ratings. Resources CDI Corp. also offers a 3.06% annual dividend, distributed to investors quarterly.

5. On Assignment Inc. (ASGN) is a staffing and outsourcing company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 43.75% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 52.03%. The company's market cap stands at $607.6 million with a 1.52 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.94 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, zero buy, and six strong buy ratings.

6. DXP Enterprises, Inc. (DXPE) is a wholesale industrial equipment company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 56.00% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 51.35%. The company's market cap stands at $583.4 million with a 0.65 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.66 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, zero buy, and five strong buy ratings.

7. Roadrunner Transportation Systems, Inc. (RRTS) is a air delivery and freight services company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 33.75% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 48.17%. The company's market cap stands at $515.1 million with a 0.44 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.56 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, one buy, and six strong buy ratings.

8. Barrett Business Services Inc. (BBSI) is a staffing and outsourcing company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 57.14% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 43.48%. The company's market cap stands at $149.9 million with a 1.50 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.60 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, zero buy, and two strong buy ratings. Barrett Business Services Inc. also offers a 2.05% annual dividend, distributed to investors quarterly.

9. Powell Industries, Inc. (POWL) is an industrial electrical equipment company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 4,280.00% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 176.00%. The company's market cap stands at $442.6 million with a -41.77 price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio and a 0.68 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, one hold, zero buy, and two strong buy ratings.

10. Manitex International, Inc. (MNTX) is a diversified machinery company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 66.67% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 109.00%. The company's market cap stands at $96.8 million with a 0.65 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.62 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, zero buy, and two strong buy ratings.

11. Aegion Corporation (AEGN) is a heavy construction company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 70.00% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 60.86%. The company's market cap stands at $714.9 million with a 1.17 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.75 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, two hold, zero buy, and six strong buy ratings.

12. MYR Group, Inc. (MYRG) is a general contractors company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 82.78% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 58.39%. The company's market cap stands at $315.3 million with a 0.57 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.36 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, one hold, zero buy, and seven strong buy ratings.

13. Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (SWHC) is an aerospace and defense products and services company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 355.00% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 52.44%. The company's market cap stands at $599.7 million with a 1.04 price to earnings growth ratio and a 1.45 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, two buy, and three strong buy ratings.

14. TMS International Corp. (TMS) is a diversified machinery manufacturer with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 55.88% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 44.38%. The company's market cap stands at $387.1 million with a 1.68 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.14 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, two buy, and three strong buy ratings.

15. Selective Insurance Group Inc. (SIGI) is a property and casualty insurance company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 3,340.00% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 313.00%. The company's market cap stands at $975.0 million with a 1.81 price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio and a 0.60 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, six hold, zero buy, and one strong buy ratings. Selective Insurance Group Inc. also offers a 2.92% annual dividend, distributed to investors quarterly.

16. Safety Insurance Group Inc. (SAFT) is a property and casualty insurance company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 191.00% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 272.00%. The company's market cap stands at $651.3 million with a 1.24 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.96 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, two hold, zero buy, and zero strong buy ratings. Safety Insurance Group Inc. also offers a 4.70% annual dividend, distributed to investors quarterly.

17. Navigators Group Inc. (NAVG) is a property and casualty insurance company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 42.55% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 107.00%. The company's market cap stands at $733.5 million with a 1.57 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.94 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, seven hold, zero buy, and one strong buy ratings.

18. Homex Development Corp. (HXM) is a Mexico-based property management company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 50.51% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 85.88%. The company's market cap stands at $824.0 million with a -20.81 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.49 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, one hold, zero buy, and four strong buy ratings.

19. Amerisafe, Inc. (AMSF) is a property and casualty insurance company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 71.74% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 52.02%. The company's market cap stands at $504.0 million with a 1.90 price to earnings growth ratio and a 1.73 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, three hold, zero buy, and one strong buy ratings.

20. Alon USA Energy, Inc. (ALJ) is an oil and gas refining and marketing company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 143.00% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 151.00%. The company's market cap stands at $501.8 million with a -7.97 price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio and a 0.07 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at one strong sell, one sell, five hold, zero buy, and zero strong buy ratings. Alon USA Energy, Inc. also offers a 1.79% annual dividend, distributed to investors quarterly.

21. THQ Inc. (THQI) is a multimedia and graphics software company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 57.77% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 78.63%. The company's market cap stands at $34.6 million with a -0.01 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.04 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, one sell, seven hold, zero buy, and zero strong buy ratings.

22. Intevac Inc. (IVAC) is a diversified electronics company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 36.36% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 71.04%. The company's market cap stands at $150.0 million with a -1.02 price to earnings growth ratio and a 1.80 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, one hold, one buy, and one strong buy ratings.

23. iGATE Corporation (IGTE) is an information technology services company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 81.88% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 62.92%. The company's market cap stands at $914.0 million with a 1.33 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.85 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, three hold, two buy, and three strong buy ratings.

24. Cbeyond, Inc. (CBEY) is a diversified communication services company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 75.00% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 46.67%. The company's market cap stands at $224.2 million with a -1.30 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.44 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, nine hold, zero buy, and two strong buy ratings.

25. Federal Signal Corp. (FSS) is a trucks and vehicles manufacturer with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 33.75% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 248.00%. The company's market cap stands at $370.6 million with a -5.32 price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio and a 0.44 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, three hold, zero buy, and zero strong buy ratings.

26. Synutra International Inc. (SYUT) is a dairy products producer with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 97.06% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 245.00%. The company's market cap stands at $357.6 million with a 0.94 price to earnings growth ratio and a 1.04 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, zero buy, and two strong buy ratings.

27. Titan International Inc. (TWI) is a rubber and plastics manufacturer with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 44.13% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 74.20%. The company's market cap stands at $984.3 million with a 0.88 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.59 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, zero buy, and six strong buy ratings. Titan International Inc. also offers a 0.09% annual dividend, distributed to investors quarterly.

28. Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (ETH) is a home furnishings and fixtures manufacturer with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 41.90% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 68.62%. The company's market cap stands at $621.1 million with a 0.67 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.86 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, two hold, zero buy, and three strong buy ratings. Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. also offers a 1.67% annual dividend, distributed to investors quarterly.

29. Arctic Cat Inc. (ACAT) is a recreational vehicles manufacturer with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 39.23% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 57.33%. The company's market cap stands at $472.0 million with a 1.56 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.95 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, two hold, two buy, and three strong buy ratings.

30. Metropolitan Health Networks Inc. (MDF) is a health care plans company with a projected Q/Q EPS growth of 29.38% and a projected Y/Y EPS growth of 42.71%. The company's market cap stands at $430.1 million with a 1.60 price to earnings growth ratio and a 0.74 price to sales (P/S) ratio. Current analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, zero buy, and five strong buy ratings.

Source: 30 Small Cap, Analyst-Backed Growth Stocks