Monday's Small-Cap Winners & Losers
Updated from 1:44 p.m. EST with new stock prices
Small-cap stocks recovered to neutral ground after an early dip Monday, but mainly continued to hug the baseline.
LCA-Vision (LCAV), a Cincinnati firm that operates LasikPlus vision centers, took a 17.6% tumble to $14.20 on fourth-quarter earnings. Income decreased to $4.1 million, or 22 cents a share, from $5.6 million, or 27 cents a share, in 2006. Analysts were looking for 21 cents a share, per Thomson Financial. Despite the beat, LCA forecast a challenging economic environment for 2008 and announced it had cut its workforce by 16% in anticipation of reduced procedure volume.
Also falling was Tempe, Ariz.-based Syntax-Brillian (BRLC), a maker of high-definition TVs. The company announced a delay of its fiscal second-quarter 2008 earnings statement, saying it needs additional time to review accounting treatment related to its tooling deposits. It had been slated to report today, and no new date has yet been set. In addition, Syntax-Brillian reported that, thanks to a delay in the building of 2008 Beijing Olympic facilities, a number of TVs sold to distributors in China had not been deployed, causing the company to repurchase them. The repurchase results in a $99 million reduction in accounts receivable from customers in China. Shares lost 14.5% to $1.94.On the winning side, shares of Phoenix, Ariz.'s Hypercom (HYC), which sells electronic payment solutions, jumped 30.1% to $5.14 after French payment processor Ingenico made an unsolicited bid Friday after the close to buy Hypercom of $6.25 a share. Hypercom CEO Norman Stout announced Monday morning that he had opened discussions with Ingenico and hopes to announce the results "as expeditiously as possible." Hypercom further intends to carry out its acquisition of French transaction firm Thales, a deal valued at $120 million. Meanwhile, SulphCo (SUF), a Houston developer of technology for upgrading crude oil, climbed 20.3% to $4.97 after announcing an agreement with Indonesian oil and gas company Pt. Isis Megah. The deal grants SulphCo distribution rights in India, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. SuphCo also announced it will ship its first order of its Sonocracking machines, with capacity to process 30,000 barrels a day, to the region. Axcelis Technologies (ACLS) also posted strong gains on a buyout offer from Japanese firm Sumitomo Heavy Industries. Sumitomo proposed to buy Axcelis, a Beverly, Mass.-based semiconductor equipment maker, at a nominal premium of $5.20 a share. Axcelis shares rocketed 23.3% higher to $4.98. More broadly, the Russell 2000 was up 0.1% to 699.65, and the S&P SmallCap 600 gained 0.2% to 369.85.
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