Wild swings once again marked the action for small-cap stocks Friday as the tech-heavy Nasdaq rallied while the Dow and S&P 500 spent much of the day in the doghouse.
Iona (IONA) shares climbed 20% to $3.31 after the Dublin, Ireland-based software company confirmed that a third party had expressed interest in buying it.
Also shining was TerreStar (TSTR), shares of which shot up 24% to $5.61 after announcing that the Reston, Va.-based wireless communication provider had secured a $200 million investment from EchoStar (SATS - Get Report) and Harbinger to fund a satellite and, subject to approvals, acquired rights to 1.4 GHz spectrum from the two companies. In return, EchoStar and Harbinger get two seats in TerreStar's boardroom.
Photon Dynamics (PHTN) jumped 11% to $9.19 on strong first-quarter earnings announced Thursday after the close. The San Jose, Calif., provider of yield management solutions for flat-panel screens posted a non-GAAP loss of $5.7 million, or 31 cents a share, on revenue of $16.2 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a loss of 32 cents a share on revenue of $16.7 million. The company also said the flat-panel market would improve in 2008 and guided for a fiscal 2008 loss between 11 cents and 5 cents a share, which is narrower than the 20 cents a share the average analyst expects.Among the losers was PDF Solutions (PDFS - Get Report). After the bell Thursday, the San Jose, Calif.-based developer of semiconductor infrastructure technology announced pro forma fourth-quarter income of $5.8 million, or 21 cents a share, vs. $2.3 million, or 8 cents a share, in 2006. The performance beat the Street's expectation by a penny. The company also announced guidance for the first quarter of 2008, predicting non-GAAP earnings per share between 8 and 10 cents. Analysts are looking for EPS of 14 cents. RBC Capital Markets downgraded PDF Solutions to sector from outperform. Shares plummeted 29% to $5.90. Reston, Va.-based comScore (SCOR - Get Report), a tracker of online consumer behavior, lost 17% to $22.83. The company forecast first-quarter EPS between 10 cents and 11 cents, excluding charges. Analysts see earnings of 16 cents a share. Shares were still down after the AP reported confusion about comScore's inclusion of a 39% tax rate that would hold back earnings. Analysts had not taken that charge into account, according to the report. More broadly, the Russell 2000 was recently down 0.5% to 698.97, and the S&P SmallCap 600 descended 0.4% to 369.00.