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Thursday's Small-Cap Winners & Losers

Updated from 2:07 p.m. EST with new stock prices

Small-cap stocks fell hard Thursday, making the major indices' losses look mild by comparison. The Russell 2000 shed 3% to 773.52.

Lowered guidance hurt several companies on the down day. Shares of Fremont, Calif.-based Avanex (AVNX), which makes fiber-optic products, took a 28.9% hit to 97 cents as the company announced that revenue for its fiscal second-quarter would be between $51 million and $53 million, which falls below the low end of previous guidance of $56 million to $58 million. Avanex is filing an arbitration complaint against French optical modules maker 3S Photonics for prematurely ending its exclusive distribution agreement with the company.

Shares of Sterling Financial (STSA), meanwhile, slipped 10.9% to $17.44 on lowered fourth-quarter guidance. Thanks to an increased charge for credit costs, the Spokane, Wash., bank now expects fourth-quarter EPS of 31 cents to 34 cents and full-year EPS of $1.84 to $1.87. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial forecast income of 53 cents a share for the quarter and $2.09 for the year.

Another bank, United Community (UCBI), dropped 13.9% to $15.26. Citing "continued deterioration in the housing and construction markets," the Blairsville, Ga., company increased its fourth-quarter loan-loss provision to $3 million, or 4 cents a share. United Community now forecasts operating EPS in the range of 12 cents to 14 cents, well short of the Street's expectation of 43 cents.

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