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Wednesday's Small-Cap Winners & Losers

Small-cap stocks fared slightly worse than the rest of the market today, pressured in part by Badger Meter's (BMI) disappointing first-quarter results.

The Milwaukee-based company, which makes scientific measurement and control products, said profits from continuing operations plummeted by more than half to 17 cents a share -- far short of the 31 cents sought by analysts, as per Thomson Financial. Shares were off $2.85, or 10.2%, to $25.

The Russell 2000, of which Badger is a component, recently slipped 0.3% to 826.77. Another broad tracker, the S&P SmallCap 600, was lately down 0.2% at 424.32.

Michigan's Dearborn Bancorp (DEAR) also widely missed first-quarter targets, reporting a 38.7% slide in "core" earnings to 19 cents a share. The bank was losing 10% to $15.60. Minnesota-based Lifecore Biomedical (LCBM), which missed by a penny, was giving up 8.7% to $17.66.

Oscient Pharmaceuticals (OSCI) dropped as well, after the Waltham, Mass., drugmaker upped its ongoing convertible senior bond offering (first announced last month) by about two-thirds to $50 million. Shares lately shed 70 cents, or 9%, to $7.04.

On the flip side, biotech Trimeris (TRMS) said its main product -- an HIV treatment called Fuzeon -- brought in around 16% more first-quarter revenue year over year to $64.3 million. Shares shot up $1.51, or 22.4%, to $8.25. Meanwhile, Canada's Peace Arch Entertainment (PAE), which produces the TV show "The Tudors," gained 14.6% to $2.04 after Showtime Networks renewed the series for another season.

Elsewhere, Toronto's Vasogen (VSGND) spiked 9.6% to $4 on word Spain-based Grupo Ferrer Internacional will market Vasogen's Celacade product (a treatment for chronic heart failure) in the European Union and in certain Latin American countries. Ferrer will assume all associated costs while taking a cut of the sales. Lufkin Industries (LUFK), a Texas-based maker of oil-pumping equipment, reported $1.17 per-share earnings that sprinted past first-quarter estimates. Shares were leaping $5.78, or 9.8%, to $64.72.

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