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The underdogs of 2023: Small-cap stocks that made it big

The underdogs of 2023 Small-cap stocks that made it big

In recent years, most reports of assets surging by thousands of percents in relatively short periods come from the crypto market, where various cryptocurrencies – especially smaller altcoins and meme coins – can very quickly make staggering surges.

However, while the rise in the price of stocks tends to be slower-paced, many stocks still managed impressive growth even in relatively short periods of time. While this is true even for some major companies like the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN), which rose by approximately 400% since January 1, small-cap stocks tend to rise and fall more bombastically.

With 2023 almost over, Finbold decided to see which small-cap companies made it big this year. 

Soleno Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SLNO)

Soleno Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SLNO) is one of the major winners of 2023 when it comes to small-cap stocks. The biopharmaceutical company is currently in the clinical stage and is focused on the treatment of rare diseases.

Its shares received their single biggest boost of the year in late September when they shot up by more than 350% in a single day after the company announced that its lead candidate, intended to treat a rare condition, fared well in a study.

All in all, SLNO is up as much as 1,544% year-to-date (YTD), and its price, at the time of writing, stands at $36.01. On January 1, 2023, shares of Soleno stood at just $2, and by the end of the year, its market cap rose to $1.1 billion, meaning that, despite its surge, the biopharmaceutical firm is still considered a small-cap company on the stock market.

SLNO YTD price chart. Source: Google

American Coastal Insurance Corp (NASDAQ: ACIC)

While still decisively below its glory days between 2014 and 2019 when it was mostly trading between $13 and $20, the American Coastal Insurance Corp (NASDAQ: ACIC), has definitely had a strong 2023.

The insurance company, specializing in underwriting casualty and commercial residential property insurance policies in the U.S., has been on a steady uptrend throughout the year. 

This year’s surge was in large part driven by strong financial results, with the Q2 report being noted by investors in particular as the company, despite the relatively high catastrophe damage costs and investment losses, still logged more than $22 million in net profit.

Since January 1, when its stock stood near $1, ACIC rose an impressive 747%, and by the time of writing, its shares were valued at $8.47. At the same time, the insurance company’s market cap stood at approximately $378 million, meaning that it decisively remains a small-cap firm.

ACIC YTD price chart. Source: Google

Ambrx Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAM)

Ambrx Biopharma (NASDAQ: AMAM) used to be just another biotech company that kept falling and falling from the highs that immediately followed its initial public offering (IPO). This trend dramatically changed in 2023, and the firm has, despite still being below its all-time highs, been on a steady uptrend.

The clinical-stage firm specializes in antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and is seeking ways to effectively mitigate the immune system by, among other ways, utilizing expanded genetic code technology. This year, it reported making great strides with the treatments for breast and prostate cancers it is testing.

AMAM started 2023 at just $2 per share but has since grown by as much as 573%, and its stock is worth, at the time of writing, $13.94. 

AMAM YTD price chart. Source: Google

Despite its impressive growth in 2023, the company is seemingly set to end the year as a small-cap firm with a market cap of approximately $880 million. 

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