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I have often owned companies with little to no sell-side analyst coverage. Ask yourself this: How many companies trading on U.S. exchanges are there:

  • That have no analyst coverage

  • That are U.S.-based

  • That have a market cap over $250 million

  • That aren't pass-through vehicles

  • And have pitiful liquidity at least

I made the following list by using a Media General database, and cross-checking it with Yahoo Finance. Yeah, I live on the cheap. Here we go:

Company Industry Ticker Market Cap $M
Terra Nitrogen Company, L.P. 0103 - Chemical Manufacturing TNH 4,235
Icahn Enterprises, L.P. 0963 - Retail (Specialty Non-Apparel) IEP 4,065
Valhi, Inc. 0103 - Chemical Manufacturing VHI 3,856
Seaboard Corporation 0515 - Food Processing SEB 2,619
EQT Midstream Partners LP 1206 - Natural Gas Utilities EQM 908
Contango Oil & Gas Company 0609 - Oil & Gas Operations MCF 901
Nortek Inc 0406 - Appliances & Tools NTK 797
Sabine Royalty Trust 0609 - Oil & Gas Operations SBR 781
Dorchester Minerals LP 0609 - Oil & Gas Operations DMLP 695
Rouse Properties Inc 0933 - Real Estate Operations RSE 681
Star Scientific, Inc. 0524 - Tobacco CIGX 590
NL Industries, Inc. 0103 - Chemical Manufacturing NL 578
1st Source Corporation 0727 - Regional Banks SRCE 547
Apco Oil & Gas International I 0609 - Oil & Gas Operations APAGF 546
CorVel Corporation 0806 - Healthcare Facilities CRVL 518
National Western Life Insuranc 0709 - Insurance (Life) NWLI 513
Village Super Market, Inc. 0957 - Retail (Grocery) VLGEA 468
Atrion Corporation 0812 - Medical Equipment & Supplies ATRI 416
Presidential Life Corp 0709 - Insurance (Life) PLFE 411
PHI Inc. 0612 - Oil Well Services & Equipment PHII 409
Seneca Foods Corp 0515 - Food Processing SENEA 324
Lifevantage Corporation 0809 - Major Drugs LFVN 306
Preformed Line Products Compan 0127 - Misc. Fabricated Products PLPC 300
Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. 0718 - Investment Services WHG 294
Ladenburg Thalmann Financial S 0718 - Investment Services LTS 287
Camden National Corporation 0727 - Regional Banks CAC 281
Federal National Mortgage Asso 0703 - Consumer Financial Services OTCQB:FNMA 278
Fisher Communications, Inc. 0906 - Broadcasting & Cable TV FSCI 278
Pendrell Corp 0718 - Investment Services PCO 277
U.S. Lime & Minerals Inc. 0212 - Construction - Raw Materials USLM 271
Winmark Corporation 0963 - Retail (Specialty Non-Apparel) WINA 264
Arden Group, Inc. 0957 - Retail (Grocery) ARDNA 263
Clifton Savings Bancorp, Inc. 0727 - Regional Banks CSBK 262

Not so surprisingly, there are:

  • A lot of limited partnerships and royalty trusts.

  • Many financial firms.

  • Many companies where there is a controlling shareholder, and liquidity is scarce relative to size.

All that said, this is an area of the market where few tread, and there may be some values to be had.

Now, there were some companies that were far less liquid, and with less disclosure, that fit the above criteria, and I list them here.

Extremely Limited Liquidity

Company Industry Ticker Market Cap $M
Belk Inc 0951 - Retail (Department & Discount) OTCQB:BLKIA 1,839
SunGame Corporation 1036 - Software & Programming SGMZ 746
First National Bank Alaska 0727 - Regional Banks OTCQB:FBAK 555
Computer Services, Inc. 1036 - Software & Programming OTCQX:CSVI 463
First Citizens Bancorporation, 0727 - Regional Banks OTCQB:FCBN 410
TherapeuticsMD Inc 0921 - Motion Pictures TXMD 311
Hills Bancorporation 0727 - Regional Banks OTCQB:HBIA 304
Farmers & Merchants Bancorp 0727 - Regional Banks OTCQB:FMCB 284

Some of these look promising as longs, if you can get shares. Others look promising as shorts, if you can get a borrow. Remember that the illiquid end of the market is the place where promoters play, creating their own internal version of the "bucket shop," getting people to buy in at higher valuations, while they sell out for a profit.

These are companies where personal research can pay off, because few others are analyzing them. I own one of them, and it is:

Full Disclosure: long NWLI

Source: 41 Lonely Puppies Or Abandoned Mutts