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Today's Small-Cap Winners and Losers

Crystallex International (KRY) gained after the Toronto-based mining company said a Venezuelan ministry approved a "Permit to Impact Natural Resources" for an Albino property quarry that will provide aggregate for the adjacent Las Cristinas project.

Todd Bruce, Crystallex president and CEO, said the approval is "a key development as it brings us closer to the issuance of the (permit) ... for the Las Cristinas project itself. We look forward with great anticipation to receiving this final permit for Las Cristinas which will enable the company to commence the construction process." Shares gained 6 cents or 2.13% to $2.88 in recent trading.

Spartech (SEH) dipped slightly after the Clayton, Mo.-based engineered thermoplastic materials maker missed Wall Street's earnings expectations. The company posted income of $5.7 million, or 18 cents a share, compared with $2.8 million, or 9 cents a share from a year ago. The company said earnings a share before stock option expenses and special items were 20 cents a share. Sales rose 13% to $343.6 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for earnings of 21 cents a share.

The company said it will combine three existing facilities located in Richmond, Ind., Clare, Mich., and Greenville, Ohio, into a new facility in Greenville. The project will take about 16 months to complete, the company said, require a capital investment of $7.6 million, and result in annual pretax savings of roughly $2.5 million. The company also maintained earnings guidance of $1.23 to $1.33 a share for fiscal 2006. Shares slipped 17 cents, or just under 1%, to $23.43 in recent trading.

The Sports Authority (TSA) gained slightly after the Englewood, Colo.-based sporting goods company beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings expectations. The company posted earnings of $29.8 million, or $1.10 a share, compared with $25.3 million, or 96 cents a share, a year ago. Sales grew 3.8% to $741.1 million. Comparable store sales increased 2.4%. Analysts were looking for earnings of $1.08 a share on sales of $737.3 million.

CEO Doug Morton cited strong sales performances in active and outdoor apparel, fitness and team sports. On Jan. 23, the company said it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by Leonard Green & Partners LP and including members of Sports Authority's senior management team for $37.25 a share in cash. Shares advanced 13 cents to $36.66 in recent trading.
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