Looking for dividends? I think these secret small-cap stocks look great value

Paul Summers picks out two stocks that could be about to appear on a lot more investors’ radars.

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The UK stock market is an ideal place for those looking to generate a second income stream from their savings.

Understandably, most private investors gravitate towards the biggest and best-known companies (think Lloyds Bank, Royal Dutch Shell and GlaxoSmithKline), either through buying their shares directly or by purchasing a fund that focuses on holding a selection of these giants.

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Today, however, I’ve picked out two far smaller businesses that not only have great income credentials but also, I suspect, offer the possibility of decent capital growth.

Focused on 2020

Based on recent trading, you might wonder why I’m positive on “image capture and content creation solutions” provider (that’s camera accessories, supports, prompters, monitors and lighting to you and me) Vitec Group (LSE: VTC).

Results for the first half of 2019 weren’t particularly inspiring. The US/China trade war and “some disruption to the photographic market” left revenue pretty much flat at £184.2m compared to the previous year. Pre-tax profit fell almost 16% to £16.6m and net debt increased to £108.4m from £43m, partly as a result of acquisitions.

In spite of this, it’s important to highlight that Vitec made no changes to its FY19 guidance. At 14%, adjusted operating margins also remained decent and in line with the company’s mid-teens-digit target.

By far the biggest positive in my view, however, was the fact that wireless chip maker Amimon (purchased in November last year) has now been fully integrated. This means Vitec’s plan to launch wireless video products into the broadcast sports market next year is on track. This development, coupled with the company being heavily involved with the Tokyo Olympics (as well as the US Election), leads me to suspect that the current valuation of 14 times earnings could turn out to be rather cheap by next year.

And the dividends? The 3.1% yield might appear very average, but it’s been consistently hiked over the years — exactly what those looking for regular income should be searching for. What’s more, this year’s cash returns should be covered well over twice by profits.

Galloping dividends

A second stock that I think warrants further investigation is RM (LSE: RM) — a company that supplies products and services to education markets, both here and abroad. 

This small-cap’s shares have been in excellent form over the last 12 months, rising a little over 50%. Based on July’s interim results, I think there could be more good news ahead.

Although revenue rose only 1% (to £95.5m) thanks to “a difficult UK schools market“, international sales rose 33%. Adjusted operating profit also jumped 17% to £9.7m, helped in part by improvements in RM’s Results and Education divisions. Margins rose to 10.2% from 8.8% and net debt dropped by £2.2m to £21.2m. Lots of good numbers there.

The great thing about all this is that RM’s shares can still be picked up for just 11 times expected earnings. Considering the company generates high returns on capital employed on a consistent basis, that looks rather cheap to me. 

Like Vitec, RM’s 3% yield isn’t exactly worth writing home about on its own. Look underneath the bonnet, however, and you’ll discover that the business has doubled its total cash return since 2013 and is expected to grow this amount by another 10% in FY20. Forget the sky-high yielders elsewhere in the market — this is what should get dividend hunters salivating.

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