Are these the best value small-cap shares?

Royston Wild runs the rule over three of the greatest small caps for bargain chasers.

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Market appetite for Connect Group (LSE: CNCT) has continued to creep higher in recent weeks, meaning the share is now dealing at its most expensive since late September.

This comes as little surprise as the UK’s biggest newspaper and magazine wholesaler’s exciting growth plans gain traction. And causing particular excitement is Connect’s plan to extend its Pass My Parcel operations, which tap into the fast-growing click and collect phenomenon. The service caters to some 3,000 parcel shops and counts the likes of Amazon among its big-league clients.

City brokers expect earnings growth to slow to a fractional advance in the period to August 2017. But this still leaves Connect dealing on a P/E ratio of just eight times, some distance below the broadly-regarded bargain watermark of 10 times.

And Connect also provides income chasers with much to get excited about — a predicted 9.8p per share dividend yields a stunning 6.2%.

Finance fave

With customer numbers hitting new records at car finance provider S&U (LSE: SUS), I reckon now is the time to buy up some of the stock before the broader market wises up.

S&U saw customer numbers shoot 34% higher from the start of August to December 7, the firm noted last month, taking its client base to around 42,000. And the company is looking to replicate its success in the auto market by entering the property bridging loan sector some time in 2017.

The number crunchers expect these factors to keep sending earnings skywards, and they expect bottom-line growth of 28% and 18% for the years to January 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Not only do these projections create decent P/E ratios of 13.1 times and 11.1 times, but sub-1 PEG readings of 0.5 and 0.6 for this year and next rubber-stamp S&U’s terrific value.

Furthermore, the finance play also gives its London-quoted rivals a run for their money in the dividend stakes — expected rewards of 90p and 106.9p per share in fiscal 2017 and 2018 respectively yield a mammoth 4% and 4.8%.

Business still bubbling

Mirroring the bounce in market appetite over at Connect Group, Costain Group (LSE: COST) has also been the beneficiary of bumper buying activity in recent sessions, the stock recently topping out at 12-month peaks

And I reckon additional strength can be expected as new business continues to roll in. Costain’s order book clocked in at a robust £3.9bn as of December, reflecting its strong track record of relationship building.

And the business also announced last week that it had secured a place on Transport for London’s Surface Transport Major Projects Framework. The framework is valued at some £500m and involves work on the capital’s bridges, tunnels and highways.

The City expects Costain to follow a predicted 7% earnings advance in 2016 with an extra 15% rise in the current year. This results in a P/E ratio of just 12.4 times, as well as a PEG reading of 0.8.

And a forecasd 14.4p per share dividend yields a chunky 3.7%. I reckon Costain is a great pick for growth and income seekers.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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