Everyone loves a bargain, and they can be found in the stock market. Bargain stocks often emerge in troubled times when the market takes a dip; however, there are bargain stocks available at any time.

For investors looking for a bargain, we have picked some of the best ASX penny stocks and small-caps to buy in 2023. Penny stocks sound like a good source of bargains, but what about small-caps? What are they? What is the difference between a small-cap and a penny stock?

The US markets have elevated their penny stocks to mean any company whose shares are trading for less than $5. Here in Australia, we remain true to the original meaning – a stock trading for under $1.00 AUD per share. However, some commentators here define small-cap stocks as any stock that trades on the ASX for under $5.00.

The Best ASX Penny and Small-Cap Stocks to Buy in 2023

Both have low market caps – the current share price divided by the number of outstanding shares – but small-cap stocks are not defined by their stock price but by market capitalisation.


Top Australian Brokers


Penny stocks have both low market caps and stock prices under $1.00 AUD in Australia. The low price lures some new investors looking for potential returns from a large cache of stocks rather than the fewer higher-priced stocks they can afford. No financial expert will recommend investors buy stocks based solely on share price without investigating whether the stock is worth buying.

Penny stocks are penny stocks for a reason – too few investors think they are worth buying, considering their risk.  Penny stocks are, in almost all cases, start-up companies with low revenue generation and substantial cash outlays to keep the company going. That leaves some penny stock businesses in a constant cycle of borrowing or capital raisings. In effect, these companies are in a race against the clock to generate revenue before the ability to raise capital evaporates.

Small-cap stocks in the early stages of the business life cycle share some of the same risk factors as their penny brethren. Research is the key to finding the best small-cap or penny stocks on the ASX.

The primary focus of such research should be how close the company is to the start of revenue generation.

In this article we will cover:

Lets dive in!

The Best ASX Penny Stocks

Here are four Australian penny stocks that may be a good fit for investors looking for a bargain.

Byron Energy (ASX: BYE)

With a market cap of $99.48as of 9 November 2023, Byron Energy is an example of a stock bordering on blurring the distinction between a penny stock and a small-cap business. The price of a share and a market cap under $100m AUD still says, “penny stock” The current market cap and share price of $99.48 million dollars USD and $0.090 per share leaves the company in penny stock status.

The share price is down 33.33% year over year.

byron energy limited bye price chart november 2023

Source: ASX 11 November 2023

Byron breaks the mould of most penny stocks as the company generates revenue from its oil and gas operations and posts profits. Half Year 2023 Financial Results showed the company’s profit jumping from $7,039,143  USD in the first half of FY 2021 to $17,662,742 million dollars USD, an increase of 150%.  Revenue and profit increased again in the Full Year 2023 results.

Byron Energy Financial Performance

bye byron energy financial performance november 2023

Source: ASX 11 November 2023

The company has a portfolio of gas and oil wells in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. Some are 50% owned, and others 100%.

Prescient Therapeutics (ASX: PTX)

A biotechnology company working on cancer treatments, Prescient Therapeutics, made a case for penny stocks when one of its drugs received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in March of 2023. That sent the stock price on an upward trajectory as investors decided in large numbers that this penny stock was worth buying.  The rally didn’t hold and the share price is now down 57.04% year to date as of 11 November of 2023.

ptx prescient therapeutics limited price chart november 2023

Source: ASX 11 November 2023

The approval is an “Orphan Drug” designation, meaning the treatment targets a rare disease impacting under 320k in the US. Prescient has four other cancer treatments in development, one already FDA-approved and another in early-stage clinical trials.

MinRex Resources (ASX: MRR)

Gold miner MinRex Resources saw its share price rise 60% during the last week of November 2021.  The catalyst was not positive news about one of its many gold assets but the announcement the company had acquired multiple exploration and minerals licenses for lithium projects in the Pilbara mining region of Western Australia. Management commented the company was pursuing lithium exploration.  As is often the case with pennies and small caps, the investor euphoria evaporated, with the share price now down 39.39% over five years and 64.29% year over year.

mrr minrex resources price chart november 2023

Source: ASX 11 November 2023

The news led to a successful raising of capital. The company has been targeting three of the lithium projects, with rock sampling, geological mapping, and drilling.  MinRex is also developing a rare earth elements (REE) asset in the region.

Castle Minerals Limited (ASX: CDT)

Castle is another gold miner whose share price was boosted by news on lithium prospects. On 20 January 2022, the company’s gold exploration at its Beasley Creek project in the Pilbara found lithium deposits in two of the four targeted gold prospects based on geological soil sampling. Investors rallied to the stock, but interest began waning in mid-2022, with the stock price continuing in free fall.

A series of positive announcements on multiple exploration activities, including Castle’s graphite project in Ghana, sent the share price on an upward trajectory at the start of the trading year 2022, only to slump again.

The rally was enough to keep the share price appreciation in positive territory over five years – up 37.5% — but year over year the share price is down 50.00%.

castle minerals limited cdt price chart november 2023

Source: ASX 11 November 2023

The Best ASX Small-cap Stocks

Commonwealth Bank sets a standard for categorising stocks as “small-cap” – a market cap as low as a few hundred million dollars but less than two million dollars.  Small-cap stocks have more room for growth than their large-cap counterparts. Peter Lynch achieved legendary status as one of history’s greatest investors due to his management of the Fidelity Magellan Fund. One of his many valuable observations on market activity was his belief that “big companies don’t make big moves.”

Here are four best ASX small-cap stocks with the potential to make big moves from a beaten-down share price or operations in a high-growth sector.

Patriot Battery Minerals (ASX: PBT)

Canada-based Patriot Battery Minerals is an exploration stage company targeting properties containing minerals needed for battery use and precious and base metals. Patriot’s wholly-owned Corvette Project in Quebec contains significant lithium potential. Patriot is also the sole owner of a gold asset in the US and a 40% owner of two additional lithium assets.

The company’s exposure to lithium assets in North America has eight analysts with  BUY recommendations and one at OVERWEIGHT.   Patriot has an aggressive drilling program targeting strike areas in the Corvette Project’s fifty-kilometre area.

The company listed on the ASX in December of 2022, with the share price up 44.67 % since listing.

pmt patriot battery metals inc price chart november 2023

Source: ASX 11 November 2023

Frontier Energy Limited (ASX: FHE)

Frontier focuses on a renewable fuel source for large vehicles, from trucks to aeroplanes. The source is hydrogen produced using renewable solar energy, earning the moniker of green hydrogen.

Hydrogen fuel is colour-coded by the source used to create it. Brown or black hydrogen is made from coal. Blue hydrogen uses natural gas.

Frontier’s project is at Bristol Springs in Western Australia. A 2022 pre-feasibility study showed potential hydrogen production of 4.4 million tonnes per year at the cost of just $2.83 per kilogram.

On 14 March 2023, Frontier announced a binding agreement with Water Corporation for the water supply needed to run the Bristol Springs Renewal Energy Project. The following day, the Western Australian government stepped in with a statement of support, pointing to Frontier’s potential to become the lowest-cost producer in the country.

Frontier is joined in the pursuit of green hydrogen by Fortescue Metals from a new subsidiary company, Fortescue Futures Industries.

The share price has been in an upward trend since Frontier announced the acquisition of the Bristol Springs Renewable Energy Project in February of 2022. The share price is up 115.38% over three years.

frontier energy limited fhe price chart november 2023

On 19 March 2023, Frontier announced the completion of its DFS (definitive feasibility study) for Bristol Springs. The study confirmed the presence of needed infrastructure as a driving force behind the low production costs of $2.77 per kilogram of hydrogen, down from $2.83AUD in the pre-feasibility study. Production capacity estimates got a boost to 4.9 million kilograms per annum, up from 4.4 million tonnes.

The total cost for the project is $242.5 million dollars AUD, including the cost of the solar farm to power the alkaline electrolyser needed to produce hydrogen.

The company’s latest Quarterly Report announced the expected completion of the acquisition of renewable energy company Waroona Energy, a company working on both solar and green hydrogen projects.

Argosy Minerals (ASX: AGY)

Argosy’s sole focus is on the company’s Rincon Lithium Project in the Lithium Triangle region in South America, famed for its abundance of lithium from salt brine production. The company currently owns 77.5% of the project with a 90% ownership following the company’s funding of the production capacity estimated at 10,000 tonnes per annum.

On 1 February, investors got the welcome news that the Argosy pilot plant had already produced high-grade lithium carbonate. The commissioning and increases to full production are on track to begin by the end of Q2 of FY 2023.

According to the company announcement, Argosy is set to become only the second ASX-listed producer of lithium carbonate,

In 2019 Argosy acquired the Tonopah Lithium Project in the lithium valley in the US state of Nevada.  This is a lithium from brine prospect, within sight of global lithium production giant Albemarle’s lithium from brine project and two hundred kilometres from the Tesla giga battery factory. Argosy is conducting geophysical analysis and interpretation at the site.

The slumping price of lithium has negatively impacted the major lithium players on the ASX so the year over year 72.41% drop in the Argosy share price should come as no surprise.

argosy minerals limited agy price chart november 2023

Source: ASX 11 November 2023

City Chic Collective (ASX: CCX)

Argosy and Frontier are worthy targets as both are rapidly approaching production. City Chic qualifies as a massively beaten down stock stemming from the COVID-19 Pandemic in its early and late stages, coupled with some self-inflicted wounds with inventory management.

The share price year over year is down 75.71%.

ccx city chic collective limited price chart november 2023

Source: ASX 11 November 2023

The company is a multi-channel, multi-national clothing, footwear, and accessories provider for plus-size women. The company’s growth in the massive US market is notable, up 62% in late January 2022 as the share price began to hit the skids.

A trading update for the closing weeks of December 2021 released on 14 January 2022 contained the news that was to bring chaos to the company and propel it onto a lengthy stay on the ASX Top Ten Short List. Group revenues were up 49.8%. What investors should have paid more attention to was inventory.  City Chic was not the only ASX retailer to go on a buying spree to combat supply issues, and over time it paid for that mistake. The inventory strategy was announced in November 2021, when the share price began its downward plunge. The company also made three major acquisitions between FY 2021 and FY 2022.

Another trading update for the closing month of 2022 was released on 20 January 2023, previewing the less than spectacular results expected in the company’s upcoming Half Year 2023 Financial Results.

The good news in the update was City Chic’s successful efforts to get inventories in line.  During much of 2022, analysts remained upbeat on City Chic’s future. In the past three months, of the ten analysts covering CCX, one has a BUY recommendation, and eight have HOLD ratings.  The average price target was $0.60 AUD, with a high target of $1.05 and a low of $0.45.

That ended with the company’s Full Year 2023 financial results, with a massive drop in net profit.

City Chic Collective Financial Performance

city chic collective financial performance price chart november 2023

Source: ASX 9 November 2023

The latest analyst recommendations have 2 BUYS, six HOLDS, and one SELL out of nine analysts covering, with an average price target of $0.5573.

ASX penny and small-cap stocks have more significant growth potential than large caps on the /ASX, but they come with more risk. Penny stocks and most small-caps have yet to generate revenue and can be haemorrhaging cash in the race to commence production. Large caps are stable, established companies.

Penny stocks in Australia are stocks with share prices under $1.00 AUD and market caps of around $100 million AUD. Small-caps have no standards for share price, but market caps of $100 million or more up to $2 billion dollars, according to Commonwealth Bank.

The need for rigorous research with penny and small-cap stocks is significantly higher than for established large caps. Many investors gravitate towards companies nearing production.


Related Articles:



What Are Penny and Small-Cap Stocks?
Penny stocks are stocks that typically trade for under 5 USD per share. In Australia it is any stock trading for less than 1 AUD per share. Small-cap stocks are shares in companies that have a market capitalisation between about $250m and $2bn.

How to Buy Penny and Small-Cap Stocks
Penny and small-cap stocks can be traded through an Australian broker. Once you’ve chosen a broker and opened an account you will need to research which stocks are a good investment for you. Penny and small-cap stocks are a risky investment as the companies tend to be small and have not yet proven themselves over the long term.

How to Find Penny and Small-Cap Stocks
Choosing penny and small cap stocks that will go on to drastically increase in price is not easy. Spending time doing your own research into the company and gathering as much information as you can will increase your chances of success. Stock screeners are a good place to start looking for penny and small cap stocks.

Does the ASX Have Penny Stocks?
Yes. At the time of writing there are over 2500 companies listed on the ASX with a share price of less than $1.