Even with two weeks remaining in 2018, some small caps have been celebrating “the year that was” for months.

While many ASX small caps are working their way towards profitability, or are only marginally profitable, nearly 20 ASX small caps achieved profits of over $30m.

But the extent to which these have been shared with stockholders has varied.

While some have not paid dividends at all, one stock has done better than the big banks.

Gold miner Tribune Resources (ASX:TBR) only has a market cap of $227m and a profit of $42m, both great for a small cap but a minnow compared to the banks. But it has outperformed the Big Four in one key area.

In addition to a 20c dividend announced in its annual report, it has paid a special dividend of $3.50 per share, following continually positive exploration results and the sale of $250m worth of gold to the Perth Mint.

This is the second consecutive year Tribune has paid a dividend.

ASX Code Company Price Dec 18 YTD return Profit Dividends
WBC Westpac $24.27 -0.2258 $8.07b 0.94
CBA CBA $68.45 -0.148 $9.23b 2.31
ANZ ANZ $23.83 -0.171 $6.4b 0.8
NAB NAB $23.18 -0.2161 $5.6b 0.99
TBR Tribune Resources $3.98 -0.4329 $42.09m 3.7

Despite that, the stock is down by more than 43 per cent this year, briefly spiking to over $10 in September upon announcement of the dividend and falling ever since in spite of the company’s profit and its portfolio expansion, taking on projects in the Philippines through acquiring Singaporean Prometheus Developments.

Of the small cap big returns, the largest profit came from a fallen ex-large cap, Slater and Gordon (ASX:SGH), which returned a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $113.7m.

Yet this came largely from discontinued operations. Its continuing operations lost $31.9m — likely explaining the lack of dividends.

Other stocks that did not pay dividends had varying reasons and some may still hand shareholders with a return.

In spite of an $85.1m profit, real estate investor Phileo (ASX:PHI) will delist from the ASX.

However, it will pay its shareholders to sell out unless they specifically opt to keep their shares. This meeting will take place this Thursday and delisting will not occur until the New Year.

Gold miner Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) has been profitable for four consecutive financial years, yet has been progressively paying down debt to the point of now being in a net cash position.

But in November, the board adopted a new dividend policy providing for a minimum dividend of 1c per share subject to Ramelius maintaining a cash and gold balance of $50m.

Nevertheless, the majority of these companies did parcel out their profits.

Among the more generous were Tasmanian bank MyState (ASX:MYS), which made a profit of $31.5m and paid a dividend of 14c (28c full year), coming off the back of solid growth across its metrics both in the Apple Isle and the mainland.

Another generous high performer was VillaWorld (ASX:VLW) which made a $43.6m NPAT and a dividend of 10c (18c full year).

In spite of the housing slowdown, the company recorded strong revenue growth.

Assisted reproductive service provider Virtus Health (ASX:VRT) also had happy shareholders with a net profit of $30.8m and a dividend of 12c — resulting in a full year payout of 26c.

Here’s a list of ASX small caps with NPAT of $30m-plus 

ASX Code Company Market Cap Price Dec 18 YTD return NPAT Dividends
DFM DONGFANG MODERN AGRICULTURE $399.3m 0.94 0.175 $93.9m None
SGH SLATER & GORDON LTD $163.4m 2.24 -0.3022 $113.7m None
GRR GRANGE RESOURCES LTD $214.1m 0.195 -0.093 $67.5m 1 cent
PHI PHILEO AUSTRALIA LTD $368.8m 12.37 0.0395 $85.1m None
AIS AERIS RESOURCES LTD $82.0m 0.17 0.6116 $55.3m None
AJD ASIA PACIFIC DATA CENTRE $223.1m 1.94 (Susp) -0.0718 $55.4m 9.5 cents
VLW VILLA WORLD LTD $234.3m 1.67 -0.4161 $43.6m 18.5 cents
CWP CEDAR WOODS PROPERTIES LTD $393.4m 4.83 -0.2082 $42.6m 18 cents
TBR TRIBUNE RESOURCES LTD $227.6m 3.98 -0.4329 $42.1m 3.7
AFG AUSTRALIAN FINANCE GROUP LTD $279.3m 1.22 -0.2515 $33.3m 5.7 cents
MNY MONEY3 CORP LTD $281.6m 1.575 -0.0396 $32.0m 9.5 cents
AGI AINSWORTH GAME TECHNOLOGY LTD $239.1m 0.73 -0.6632 $31.9m 2.5 cents
MYS MYSTATE LTD $239.1m 4.45 -0.1028 $31.5m 14 cents
AVJ AVJENNINGS LTD $207.2m 0.53 -0.2933 $31.3m 3 cents
SDG SUNLAND GROUP LTD $203.8m 1.31 -0.2585 $31.3m 11 cents
EZL EUROZ LTD $186.7m 1.11 -0.0714 $31.3m 9.25 cents
RMS RAMELIUS RESOURCES LTD $237.9m 0.44 0.1429 $30.8m No (Repay debt)
VRT VIRTUS HEALTH LTD $354.5m 4.34 -0.1759 $30.7m 12 cents
ADH ADAIRS LTD $277.0m 1.69 -0.0765 $30.6m 8 cents