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Friday's Small-Cap Winners & Losers

Baldor Electric (BEZ) rose after the motor maker beat Wall Street's second-quarter earnings expectations. The company posted earnings of $12.4 million, or 38 cents a share, up from $9.7 million, or 29 cents a share, a year ago. Sales grew 15% to $205.6 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected earnings of 36 cents a share.

The company said in a news release that it believes business for the rest of the year "looks strong." While shipments were up 15% during the quarter, the company said, incoming order rates increased 20%. Shares gained $1.82, or 6.4%, to $30.22.

LHC Group (LHCG), a provider of post-acute health care services, was climbing following word it priced a public offering of 4 million shares at $19.25 each. Of the total, the company is offering 1 million and stockholders are selling 3 million.

Shares of LHC were up $1.69, or 8.7%, to $21.10.

Chemed (CHE) plummeted after the company, which provides hospice programs and also owns the plumbing-services business Roto-Rooter, said second-quarter earnings would miss expectations. Chemed also lowered its full-year guidance.

The company expects second-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share, with revenue up 10% to $250 million. Wall Street is looking for earnings of 54 cents a share on $255 million in revenue. Chemed cut its guidance for full-year earnings from continuing operations to a range of $2.18 to $2.25 a share, excluding one-time items. The company had earlier forecast earnings of $2.20 to $2.35 a share. Analysts are looking for $2.27. Shares of Chemed sank $9.64, or 19.1%, to $40.86.

eResearch Technology (ERES) stumbled after the clinical trial-consulting company lowered its second-quarter guidance. The company expects revenue of about $22.5 million, or 10% below the low end of its previous forecast of $25 million to $27 million. The consensus analyst target is $25.7 million.

eResearch is reassessing its 2006 guidance and plans to provide an update in connection with the second-quarter conference call. eResearch is scheduled to report second-quarter results Aug. 3. Shares fell 57 cents, or 6.7%, to $7.98.

Rocky Brands (RCKY) slid after the footwear and apparel maker said it expects to post a loss for the second quarter. Rocky Brands projected a second-quarter loss of 5 cents to 10 cents a share, sharply worse than analysts' estimate of 45 cents a share. A year earlier, the company recorded earnings of 50 cents a share.

The company estimated sales of about $57 million, down from $65.5 million a year ago. Rocky Brands is scheduled to report its second-quarter results July 27. Shares fell $9.47, or 42.5%, to $12.82.

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