I’m always on the hunt for promising small-cap companies that have the potential to grow at a much faster clip than your typical FTSE blue-chip. Should everything go to plan, their share prices can eventually rocket. With this in mind, here are three AIM stocks are grabbing my attention.
Mobile payments and messaging firm Fonix Mobile (LSE:FNX) enables businesses from the media, charity, digital services and gaming sectors to charge users’ mobile bills. An example would when people donate to the BBC’s Children in Need campaign.
Right now, trading is good. Revenue and gross profit rose by 25% and 22% respectively over the second half of 2020. A pipeline of clients means more growth is expected in 2021.
In addition to being in a rapidly expanding area, Fonix also boasts staggeringly high returns on capital employed (ROCE). Companies that can do this consistently tend to create huge value for shareholders. No wonder star fund managers like Terry Smith and Nick Train pay so much attention to this metric.
Naturally, investors need to be cautious. Fonix only arrived on the market last October so it’s still early days. I also question just how much of an ‘economic moat’ it really possesses. Still, the performance of the share price over the last year (+82%) does suggest investors are willing to give management the benefit of the doubt, for now.
US-based video games company tinyBuild (LSE: TBLD) is another new AIM stock that could do well for investors over time. Its mission is to create long-term partnerships with developers and monetise popular titles across different forms of media. The puzzle game Hello Neighbour is one example of this.
Gaming remains a hot sector that should continue growing rapidly for the foreseeable future. Like all stocks however, there can be no guarantees tinyBuild will perform. Its shares also trade at 49 times forecast earnings. That kind of valuation will only seem reasonable to the most optimistic market participants.
A relatively small ‘free float’ (the number of shares available for investors to buy in the market) also implies the price may be volatile going forward.
On a positive note, tinyBuild’s founders still have big holdings, which should mean their interests are aligned with those of their investors. The firm also boasts a strong balance sheet — one of the things I look for when buying small-cap shares.
Ilika (LSE: IKA) is a final AIM stock I think has big potential. It’s focused on developing solid state batteries for applications such as the Internet of Things and electric vehicles. These have a number of benefits over traditional lithium-ion batteries, such as faster charging, longer life and non-flammability. As such, mass adoption seems to be a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
Notwithstanding this, Ilika is still loss-making. This probably makes it only suitable for risk-tolerant investors. Investors must also reflect on how well the shares have performed over the last year (+500%!) and whether a lot of hope is priced in.
Should markets shift into reverse gear as a result of ongoing concerns over inflation, blue sky stocks like Ilika could be hit harder than most. Then again, this might be the perfect time to begin building a position if buyers are content to be patient for the spoils that could lie ahead.