The company is one of those hidden gems for which you spend days searching. Whenever I look for a small-cap stock to add to my portfolio, I run every company through a filter I have on my online brokerage account. This essentially narrows down the firms priced between $5 and $20 with a market cap of less than $500 million. I’m left with about 1,000 stocks to choose from.
I then go through a quantitative and qualitative analysis that less than 1% of the stocks pass. Anika Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANIK) has made the cut and will likely pass the $1 billion capitalization mark in the next 5 to 10 years.
Big things come in small capitalizations
While the firm still only has a market capitalization of about $260 million, it’s rapidly growing profits. What is very alluring about this business is the increase in operating expenses compared to its increase in revenue. While revenue was up $6 million in 2012 from the previous year, operating expenses only rose by $1 million.
That resulted in a 50% increase in net income and a profit margin of 17%. Furthermore, the company has increased revenue from $40 million in 2009, to $71 million last year — that’s a 77% growth in just four years.
How the competition compares
Another attractive component of Anika Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANIK) is its fundamental dominance over the competition. BioTime, Inc. (NYSEMKT:BTX), for example, has operating expenses that far exceed those at Anika Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANIK). This is an example of a stock that doesn’t pass my 10% minimum standard in profit margin. BioTime, Inc. (NYSEMKT:BTX)’s operating expenses increased by 580% over the last 4 years, while revenue increased 100% in that period — though it should be noted that revenue hasn’t increased since 2010.
Its tough to stay in business when your operating income is negative by $25 million, even when, you’re a biotech and that’s mostly due to research and development. The only reason to speculate on this stock would be for its exposure to the stem cell market. It’s already in an area with a huge amount of uncertainty. And that uncertainty runs wild in a company that is spending way too much on research and development compared to what it receives in revenue.