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2 promising small-cap stocks that could be millionaire-makers in 2018

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Finding the best stocks at the lowest prices is never easy. However, even though the FTSE All-Share has risen significantly in recent years, there may still be investment opportunities. One sector that could offer high returns is healthcare, with a growing ageing world population providing a potential tailwind.

With that in mind, here are two stocks which could deliver rising share prices in future. As such, they could be worth buying today.

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Improving performance

Reporting on Monday was US healthcare market Value Cycle solutions specialist, Craneware (LSE: CRW). The company announced that it has continued to perform strongly in the first half of the year, with its growth strategy successfully executed. Renewals by dollar value have continued at over 100% during the period. It now expects to report an increase in both revenue and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of between 15% and 18% for the six months to the end of December 2017.

The company also reported a significant contract win on Monday that’s expected to deliver in excess of $16m of revenue over its initial five-year term. This could prove to be a positive catalyst for a company which has been able to deliver double-digit earnings growth in the last three financial years. This consistently high growth in profitability could show that Craneware is worthy of a premium valuation in the long run.

With the stock currently trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of around 38, it seems to be popular among investors. While there may not be scope for a significantly higher rating, the stock’s earnings growth potential remains high. This could propel its share price upwards in the long run.

Upbeat outlook

Also offering growth potential in the healthcare sphere is Alliance Pharma (LSE: APH). The acquirer and licensor of pharmaceutical products has a long track record of delivering growth. It has been able to do so in four of the last five financial years, and this trend looks set to continue over the medium term. In fact, the company is forecast to record a 15% rise in 2018 earnings, which could cause investor sentiment to improve significantly.

Despite a rise in its share price of 38% in the last year, Alliance Pharma trades on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 1. This suggests it offers a wide margin of safety, which could lead to a higher rating in the long term.

With the company having a stable growth outlook, it may also be seen as a relatively defensive stock. Certainly, it appears to lack a high degree of positive correlation with the wider index and with the economy. This could help investors to diversify at a time when the political risk facing the UK continues to build. As such, now could be the perfect time to buy the stock for the long term.

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Peter Stephens owns shares in Alliance Pharma and Craneware. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Craneware. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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