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Thursday's Small-Cap Winners & Losers

Small-cap stocks fared much the same as the major indices Thursday, hopping back and forth across the baseline.

Shares of Valence Tech (VLNC), an Austin, Texas-based maker of battery technology, shot up 54% to $2.30. For the third quarter of its fiscal 2008, the company announced a net loss of $5.7 million, or 5 cents a share, vs. a loss of $6 million, or 6 cents a share, a year ago, on a 48% revenue increase to $3.4 million. Valence also announced a $70 million deal with Tanfield Group to supply batteries for Tanfield's Smith Electric Vehicles.

Meanwhile, shares of San Jose, Calif., integrated circuit maker Power Integrations (POWI) jumped 30% to $27.90. The company announced last night that it had acquired Potentia Semiconductor for $5.5 million in cash and followed the announcement with strong earnings results. For the fourth quarter, Power Integrations posted non-GAAP income of $12.4 million, or 38 cents a share, vs. $5.8 million, or 19 cents a share, in 2006. The Street was looking for EPS of 35 cents. This morning, Needham & Co. upgraded the stock to strong buy from buy.

Also gaining was clothing retailer Children's Place (PLCE). The Secaucus, N.J.-based company reported a 6% year-over-year increase in January same-store sales, or sales from stores open at least a year. Children's Place also announced that the Nasdaq had threatened to delist it for failing to hold its fiscal 2006 stockholder meeting thanks to a delay in its annual earnings report. The same morning, former CEO Ezra Dabah said he may buy the company for $24 a share. The stock climbed 18% to $20.91.

On the losing side, Select Comfort (SCSS), an adjustable-firmness bed manufacturer based in Minneapolis, last night reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.2 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with $10.8 million, or 20 cents a share, in 2006. Analysts were looking for 13 cents a share. Morgan Keegan downgraded the company to underperform from market perform. Shares sank to a five-year low, and were recently down 28% to $5.17.

Spectrum Brands (SPC) shares slipped 19% to $3.70. The Atlanta maker of consumer batteries and pet grooming products announced first-quarter adjusted EPS of 6 cents, compared with 12 cents a year ago. Analysts were expecting 9 cents a share. Revenue was also down to $560.5 million from $564.6 million.

More broadly, the Russell 2000 was up 1.1% at 700.10, and the S&P SmallCap 600 was up 1.1% at 369.32.

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