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Today's Small-Cap Winners and Losers

First Avenue Networks (FRNS) soared 30% Monday on news the McLean, Va.-based fixed-wireless-transport-services company had entered into an agreement with FiberTower, a provider of wireless backhaul, to combine the two companies in an all-stock transaction.

The agreement calls for First Avenue to issue about 73.7 million of its common shares, worth roughly $873 million, to FiberTower shareholders, who will own 51% of the combined entity. The combined company will be named FiberTower Corp. and will be listed on the Nasdaq under the FRNS ticker. Michael Gallagher, First Avenue's president and CEO, will serve as CEO of the new entity. The deal is expected to close by the end of the third quarter. Shares gained $2.90 to $12.56 in recent trading.

Central Vermont Public Service (CV) gained after Matrix Research upgraded the Rutland, Vt.-based utility to hold from sell. The analyst's report cited the company's work at improving its financial standing as a reason for the upgrade. "We believe the company is implementing a good strategy to improve performance," the report said. Central Vermont Public Service gained $1.03, or 6.1%, to $17.96 in recent trading.

Rio Narcea Gold Mines (RNO) dropped after the Spanish precious-metals company missed Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations. The company posted income of $2.9 million, or 2 cents a share, on total revenue of $47.4 million. A year ago, the company reported a loss of $15.3 million and 10 cents a share on revenue of $9 million. The company said the most recent first quarter includes a derivative loss of $9.7 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for earnings of 9 cents a share. Rio Narcea Gold Mines fell 24 cents, or 11.1%, to $1.92 in recent trading.

FTI Consulting (FCN) gained after the Baltimore-based consulting company was upgraded by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey to buy from neutral. Shares gained $2.02, or 7.9%, to $27.51 in recent trading.

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