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Friday's Small-Cap Winners & Losers

Small stocks piggybacked atop the cheery larger market Friday amid waves of earnings news.

Among the bigger winners was Spectrum Brands (SPC), shares of which shot up 15.2% after a Bear Stearns analyst upped its rating to outperform despite a wider-than-expected fiscal second-quarter loss. The analyst cited a striking improvement in the fundamentals for the Atlanta-based maker of batteries and other products. Shares added $1 to $8.19.

Texas-based Abatix (ABIX), which distributes personal-protection and safety equipment, soared 19.2% to $9.25 in unusually high trading volume after per-share earnings in the first quarter vaulted 61.5% year over year to 21 cents, or $359,000.

U.S. Auto Parts Network (PRTS), of California, jumped 11.4% to $6.57 on a penny EPS beat and an upgrade courtesy of RBC Capital Markets. Meanwhile, Needham & Co. upped NovAtel (NGPS) to buy after the Canada-based company reported first-quarter earnings that were in line with analyst targets. Shares of NovAtel, which makes global positioning systems, lifted by 10% to $37.70.

Elsewhere, Kansas-based ICOP Digital (ICOP), which makes surveillance products, shaved a penny off its year-ago per-share loss to 14 cents, and revenue nearly tripled to $2.3 million. These figures missed two analysts' predictions, but shares still climbed 15.8% to $9.08.

On the flip side, Distributed Energy Systems (DESC) plummeted 45% to 76 cents after the Wallingford, Conn., electric-power-systems builder broadened its first-quarter loss to 37 cents vs. a loss of 20 cents a share a year ago. Analysts were looking for losses to stay flat with last year.

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