Investors should be thinking about their 2014 strategies. Ultimately, I think we could see an extended rally well into this New Year with slight pullbacks along the way. Homebuilders are gaining confidence on the housing outlook, consumers are spending, the Fed has begun to taper (confidence in economy moving forward), and decent corporate earnings are all reasons for this rally to continue. That being said, investors must remain cautious of a significant pullback at some point this year. The market was on an absolute roll in 2013 and it is more likely than not to have a pullback, buying opportunity at some point.
One such stock that might interest small-cap and micro-cap investors is Crown Crafts Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWS). Crown Crafts is a maker of infant and toddler accessories. From cribs to blankets, and bedding to toilet seat covers; they offer it all. Obviously, new parents will have to buy these necessities for their newborn, making Crown Crafts' business somewhat recession proof.
Turning to the fundamentals, as I stated before this is a micro-cap stock that has a market cap of only $75 million, but is rated a "strong buy" from analysts. Price to earnings is at 13.85 and forward price to earnings is at 12.29. PEG is undervalued at .77, price to sales is also undervalued at .93, and price to book is at 2.24. The company has no debt and pays an annual monster dividend of 4.2 percent. Earnings are expected to stay flat this year, rise 8.77 percent next year, and 18 percent over the next five years. Insiders own 13.2 percent of all shares and institutional buyers seem to be very bullish on the stock as they own over 41 percent of the float. Management efficiency ratios are very good for the size of the company with return on assets of 12.3 percent, return on equity of 16.5 percent, and return on investment of 15.9 percent. Margins are pretty impressive as well with gross margin of 26.9 percent, operating margin of 11.5 percent, and profit margin of 6.7 percent. Shares are up almost 60 percent year-to-date.
As you can see, Crown Crafts posts some pretty impressive figures for only being worth $75 million. The stock is even trading at a discount to future growth and sales, on top of an above average dividend yield. Growth is expected to be a little slow this year and next year, but remember this is not some sexy industry with cutting edge technology. Crown Crafts provides a wide variety of toddler and infant accessories, which are absolutely must buys for new parents. With a beta of .27 (very low volatility compared to the S&P 500), this might be a great stock to take a look at for investors looking for a micro-cap with an established, conservative business model, profitability, nice dividend, institutional and insider buying, and undervalued by some metrics. As always, investors must conduct their own research to determine if this stock is appropriate for their portfolios.