Desktop Stock Ticker | 3 Small Companies With Blazing Sales Growth

3 Small Companies With Blazing Sales Growth

Earlier this month I ran a search for companies that have <a href=”http://www.smartmoney.com/stock tickers/3-stock tickers-With-Big-Sales-Cheap-Valuations/ “>grown their sales quickly over the past year even as most companies’ sales have declined. I confined the results of that screen to large companies. Below are some small ones that are growing even faster.

The names might not be familiar to readers since all of these companies have stock ticker market values below $1 billion. But each is plenty profitable and recently reported quarterly sales that jumped at least 20% from a year ago. 

Health Grades

Market Value: $133 million
Projected sales growth in current fiscal year: 31%

Based in Golden, Colo., tiny Health Grades (HGRD) provides patients with consumer information on doctors, hospitals and nursing homes, complete with ratings from other patients. Visitors to HealthGrades.com can look up basic information on their doctors in exchange for providing their own opinions. (My doc is rated a fine physician with a dreary office and surly staff — spot on.) For $13, they can purchase a more detailed report. Health Grades also receives fees from hospitals for marketing services, which help them to boost admissions of insured patients. For now, hospitals provide more of the company’s sales than patients, but sales from patients are growing much faster. With lawmakers debating broad changes in the way Americans pay for and receive healthcare, any plan short of nationalization would likely benefit from more consumer information. Shares of Health Grades are up more than 80% this year, but their current price of 20 times earnings seems reasonable considering the company’s growth rate.

K12

Market Value: $548 million
Projected sales growth in current fiscal year: 26%

Every child should learn, but not all of them should go to school. Students who learn especially fast or slow might find classrooms boring or frustrating. Sick kids need special care at home. Child actors and entertainers must travel. Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, K12 (LRN) provides online high school courses for home-schooled kids in these situations and others. Parents monitor work closely for kindergarten through eighth grade after which students are expected to develop more independence. In the nearly half of American states that have approved K12’s curriculum and materials for use in online public schools, students can enroll for free. Applications are pending in more states. Worldwide, students can pay to enroll in K12’s own online school. Shares are ambitiously priced at 30 times earnings, but few companies are adding customers in the current recession as quickly as this one.

InterDigital

Market Value: $937 million
Projected sales growth in current fiscal year: 32%

Over the past two months, InterDigital (IDCC) shares have climbed from $23 to $31 and fallen back to below $22. The company licenses technology to cellphone makers that allows for high-speed data transfer, and the stock ticker’s run-up is owed to blazing sales growth. The tumble relates to an International Trade Commission ruling that Nokia has not, as InterDigital had claimed, infringed on its patents. InterDigital is appealing. Analysts say a review of the ruling is likely and that more than 40% of such rulings undergo later revision. A partial win for InterDigital could ban U.S. imports of Nokia “3G” handsets. More likely, Nokia and InterDigital might settle on a licensing deal. Even without such a deal, the stock ticker seems a bargain. The company holds $6 a share in cash and should receive another $3 a share in payments from Samsung next year. Shares are trading at less than 14 times forecast 2009 earnings.

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