3 small-cap value stocks set for big things in 2017

Today, there are hundreds of different ways to invest your money, but one style that has stood the test of time is value investing.

Indeed, there are many studies which show that value investing has outperformed all other methods for decades and following a value strategy has helped billionaire Warren Buffett build the reputation and fortune he has today.

While I can’t give you the secret to guaranteeing riches like Warren Buffett, here are three attractive looking value stocks that may help put you on the path to investing success. 

Pipes and plumbing

Norcros (LSE: NXR) is, in my opinion, one of London’s most undervalued stocks. The company manufactures and sells bathroom products such as showers, taps and tiling equipment and has ambitious growth plans. 

However, for some reason, the market doesn’t trust management to hit growth targets or even hit annual profitability targets. Nonetheless, management has continually proved the market wrong. 

Net profit has grown at an average compounded rate of 14.2% since 2011. Analysts are expecting a slight fall in earnings per share for the year ending 31 March thanks to high costs from the integration of a new acquisition. Still, even though earnings per share are expected to fall 7%, the shares trade at a forward P/E of only 6.7 and support a dividend yield of 4.2%, a valuation that seems too hard to pass up for a business that’s achieved such an impressive historic growth record.

Oil troubles 

Gulf Marine Services (LSE: GMS) is one of the many companies that has suffered from the decline in oil prices over the past few years. The company is expected to report a net profit of only £33.5m for 2017, more than 50% below its 2014 peak of £75m.

Gulf Marine operates self-propelled and self-elevating support vessels, which are used by the oil and gas industry to maintain and service offshore oil platforms. Other companies that operate offshore platforms also use the company’s services, so Gulf Marine has customers outside the oil and gas sector. 

Even though the company has sailed into stormy waters recently, it’s likely that over the long term the demand for support vessels will return to normal levels and when it does, Gulf Marine’s profit should go back to 2014 levels. 

The shares currently trade at a forward P/E ratio of 9.3 and a price-to-book ratio of 0.6. If you have the patience to wait for demand to pick up, Gulf Marine could be an attractive long-term investment. 

Come fly with me

Aircraft leasing firm Avation (LSE: AVAP) has seen the value of its shares rise by around 50% since August of last year, but even after these recent gains, the shares still look cheap. Indeed, at the time of writing shares in Avation trade at a forward P/E of 7.2 and a price-to-tangible book ratio of 0.8. City analysts expect the company’s earnings per share to grow by 5.7% this year. 

Over the past five years, the company has grown earnings per share at a steady rate of 13.1% per annum on average. With a high single-digit P/E it looks as if the market is ignoring Aviation’s impressive growth record.

Small-cap bargain? 

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Our analysts believe that this company's potential upside could be as great as 50%.

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Rupert Hargreaves owns shares of Norcros. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Norcros. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.