Hidden gems are out there. Investors don’t need to pile into stocks focused on artificial intelligence to make money in the current market. There are plenty of unnoticed profitable stocks from companies whose shares have been ascendant through the first six months of 2023.
These low profile companies may get scant attention from the business press, but their stocks have managed to surge this year as management successfully executes on its business strategy and deliver strong earnings that beat expectations. While finding these little known stocks may be difficult, investors willing to search and do their homework will be richly rewarded by a great investment that provides them with years of portfolio gains. Here are three unnoticed profitable stocks that are quietly killing it this year.
United States Lime & Mineral (USLM)
United States Lime & Mineral (NASDAQ:USLM) isn’t an overly big company. And its certainly not a well-known stock. Its market capitalization currently sits at $1.1 billion and very few analysts cover the company. However, U.S. Lime is a stock that has been quietly killing it this year, having gained 40% since January. Over the last 12 months, USLM stock has increased 71% and it is up 125% through five years. Investors would be hard pressed to find another stock that has performed as well, especially during the volatility of the last three years.
Key to the company’s success is its niche focus on lime and limestone products. It mostly supplies lime to construction and industrial companies for use in everything from roads to glass manufacturing. U.S. Lime’s latest earnings continued a string of outperformance by the company. For this year’s first quarter, U.S. Lime & Mineral reported that its revenue rose 31% to $66.8 million, while its gross profit grew by 65% to $24 million, and its net income nearly doubled to $3 a share.
Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO)
While most investors may not be familiar with the Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE:FICO), nearly everyone is acquainted with the FICO credit score the company manages. In the current inflationary environment, with interest rates elevated, banks, credit card companies, and other lenders are relying on FICO scores more than ever before, driving business at Fair Isaac through the roof. As a result, FICO stock has more than doubled in the past 12 months, including a 35% increase this year. Over five years, the stock has gained 300%.
As with U.S. Lime & Mineral, Fair Isaac has reported strong earnings due to surging demand for its credit scoring service. The company most recently reported earnings per share of $4.78, up 2% from $4.68 per share a year ago. Despite the big run in FICO stock over the last year, analysts see more runway ahead. The median price target on the stock is 15% higher than where the shares currently trade. Curiously, almost no retail investors own this stock. Nearly 90% of FICO’s stock is owned by institutional investors, mostly hedge funds.
Miller Industries (MLR)
Miller Industries (NYSE:MLR) is a company that makes tow trucks and towing equipment at a factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It’s a small company with a $400 million market cap. This company is so far down the list of unnoticed profitable stocks that no analysts on Wall Street are covering the company. Regardless, MLR stock has been quietly killing it this year. Since January, the company’s share price has increased 36%. Over the last 12 months, the stock is up 50%. Despite its small size and low profile, Miller Industries has been a winner for its shareholders.
As with the other stocks on this list, Miller Industries outperformance is largely due to its niche business and successful execution. Despite its small size and primary focus on the southern U.S., Miller Industries has expanded internationally, buying engineering firms in both the United Kingdom and France. In business since 1990, the company’s products are viewed as essential in the towing industry. For this year’s first quarter, Miller Industries reported that its revenue grew 31% year-over-year, while its net income increased 347%.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.