2019 is one-third complete, and the data analysts at Stockhead have decided it’s time for a scoreboard check.

As usual in the world of small-cap stocks, there’s been plenty of ups and downs in the first four months of the year.

But amid the volatility there’s also been plenty of standouts; by May 1, no less than 52 companies had posted a gain of at least 100 per cent.

Top of the pops is Advance Nanotek (ASX: ANO), the sunscreen maker chaired by eccentric Brisbane businessman Lev Mizikovsky. It surged from 97 cents to a close of $4.94 on April 30 — a year-to-date gain of 440 per cent.

The stock price has been climbing steadily since mid-January, when three of the company’s major shareholders said they’d launched a new brand of “Ethical Zinc” sunscreen “based on one of the zinc dispersions manufactured by ANO”.

ANO shares got another boost in early February when ANO announced a three-year extension to one of its customer agreements valued at $4m. Since then, its rapid price appreciation garnered a speeding ticket from the ASX in March, before another round of profit and sales upgrades in April.

By sector though, the largest number of double-ups were registered in more familiar industries — metals and mining, and oil and gas.

22 stocks across both sectors are up at least 100 per cent since January 1, led by Canada-based Atrum Coal (ASX: ATU) which posted a four-month gain of 272 per cent.

Shares in Atrum rocketed higher at the start of March following a sensational takeover offer by billionaire Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting for Canadian coal explorer Riversdale Resources.

As it turns out, Riversdale is Atrum’s neighbour; its core assets is the Grassy Mountain project in Alberta, next to Atrum’s development at Elan South.

Spectrum Metals (ASX: SPX) and Laneway Resources (ASX: LNY) also posted gains of more than 200 per cent. Here’s a summary of the best performers in resources and energy:


 
Aside from those traditional areas, there’s also been plenty of gains in tech, with nine companies classified under information technology registering percentage gains in the triple figures.

Within that broader classification there were five software companies, two IT service providers, one electronic equipment maker and one semiconductor manufacturer.

Leading the pack was data storage-as-a-service company Cirrus Networks (ASX:CNW), which landed a three-year, $5m contract with the federal government in January and booked record half-year revenues in the six months to December.

Shares in the company are up 256 per cent in 2019 to 6 cents. Here’s how the cream of the crop in tech have performed so far this year:


 
More broadly, it’s been a good year so far for the ASX Small Ordinaries, which has returned to multi-year highs after posting a year-to-date gain of more than 16 per cent.

Small cap companies have followed their large cap counterparts, with similar gains recorded on the ASX200.

Global stocks have benefitted from a more benign macroeconomic backdrop to start the year, after concerns about the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate outlook morphed into a mild panic which gave rise to a sharp selloff in December.

Prior to the selloff, communication from Fed chief Jerome Powell indicated the all-powerful central bank was committed to another round of rate hikes in 2019 as the US economy strengthened.

But in response to those market ructions, the Fed changed its tune. Instead of rate hikes, markets are now pricing a possible reduction in US interest rates later this year. For now, liquidity is flowing and stocks are the beneficiary.

Here’s a summary of the remaining 20 ASX small caps with 2019 gains of at least 100 per cent: