Small Caps Down In '02

December 31, 2002 ( - The average small-cap fund was hit by slumping equity markets in 2002, recording a loss of 16.96%, according to Lipper.

Small-cap value stocks, those smaller companies considered to offer good value in terms of financial ratios, suffered an average decline of 9.80% through December 26, according to Reuters, citing Lipper data. 

Still, that was relatively modest compared to small-cap growth stocks, which were down an average of 28.90% year-to-date and small-cap “core” funds, which own both growth and value stocks, that averaged a decline of 17.40% through December 26.

Year-to-date, one of the biggest winners out of small-cap funds was the Hussman Strategic Growth Fund, up 13.03% year-to-date, compared to the average diversified stock fund’s negative 22% return over the same period.  

Other 2002 gainers through December 26 include the Bridgeway Ultra Small Company Fund with a 4.87% return, RS Investment Partners Fund, up 1.29% and Perritt Micro Cap Opportunities Fund, up a meager 0.26% for the year.  

In terms of assets, Vanguard Explorer reined supreme recording $3.74 billion under management thru December 26, followed by the T Rowe Price Small Cap Stock Fund ($3.41 billion), Vanguard Small Cap Index ($3.14 billion) and T Rowe Price Small Cap Index ($2.43 billion).

December’s “Small” Chill

December provided no relief, with the average small-cap stock fund seeing a decline of 4.13% for the month.

Measuring funds with at least $10 million in assets, Lipper found December’s biggest small cap value winners to be:

  • Hussman Strategic Growth up 2.95%
  • Munder Small Cap Value up 1.36%
  • Perritt Micro Cap Opportunity up 1.13%
  • Bridgeway Ultra Small Company up 0.79%
  • Henlopen Fund up 0.76%

Conversely, December saw these small cap value fund hit hardest:

  • Profund Ultra Small Cap down 10.45%
  • WM Small Cap Stock down 10.30%
  • Buffalo Small Cap down 9.75%
  • TCW Galileo Small Cap Value down 9.59%
  • Corbin Small Cap Value down 8.93%