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Wednesday's Early Winners & Losers

Versant (VSNT) shares jumped more than 11% in after-hours action Tuesday as the data-management software developer posted sharply higher earnings for the first fiscal quarter. The Fremont, Calif., small-cap reported $1.6 million, or 45 cents a share, in income from continuing operations, compared with last year's $789,000, or 23 cents a share. Sales reached $5.2 million, an 11% climb from a year ago. Shares were adding $1.89 to $18.60 in recent trading.

Deckers Outdoor (DECK), a footwear maker based in Goleta, Calif., was higher on a profit of $23.5 million, or $1.82 a share, in the fourth quarter (excluding a noncash pretax impairment charge estimated between $14 million and $16 million) on sales that surged 36.7% year over year to $124.4 million. Year-ago earnings were $12.1 million, or 94 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had sought $1.31 a share on $110.7 million revenue.

Looking ahead, the company expects to see 15% growth in 2007 revenue and 5% income growth. That translates to $3.47 a share on $350.1 million, based on 2006 sales figures, which top the mean by 36 cents and $11 million, respectively. Shares were up $3.51, or 5.7%, to $64.96.

Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) rose on two pieces of good news. Fourth-quarter results were impressive, as the drugmaker narrowed its losses to $48.5 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with last year's downside of $69.5 million, or 53 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 44 cents a share. Revenue added 8% to $10 million, which was $2.3 million above consensus. The Rockville, Md., company also expects 2007 revenue to surge 50% year over year to $38.7 million, ahead of the $35.6 million targets.
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