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Thursday's Small-Cap Winners & Losers

Earnings and guidance prompted some of the biggest moves among small-cap stocks as they generally slipped into negative territory Thursday. The Russell 2000 lost 0.9% to 707.31, and the S&P SmallCap 600 slid 0.9% to 373.

Shares of Epicor (EPIC), a developer of enterprise application software and services, dropped to new lows, falling 25% to $8.07. The Irvine, Calif.-based company guided for first-quarter non-GAAP earnings per share of 6 cents to 7 cents on revenue of $103 million to $104 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial are looking for EPS of 17 cents on revenue of $113.5 million.

Also falling, Milpitas, Calif.-based Credence Systems (CMOS) tumbled 24% to $1.32. The designer of engineering validation test equipment announced it expects a first-quarter loss of $9 million to $11 million, or 9 cents to 11 cents a share. The Street is looking for a 6-cent EPS loss.

Wauwatosa, Wis.-based Briggs & Stratton (BGG), which makes air-cooled gasoline engines and power equipment, saw shares give up 13%. The company reported third-quarter fiscal 2008 earnings of $37.1 million, or 75 cents a share, up from $9.3 million, or 18 cents a share, a year ago. The Street was looking for income of 85 cents a share.

SureWest (SURW), a telecommunication services company based in Roseville, Calif., announced it will stop paying quarterly dividends after its payout on June 16. Shares got a 22% haircut to $14.87.

On the winning side, shares of Avocent (AVCT), a maker of connectivity software and hardware based in Huntsville, Ala., climbed 20% to $18.87. The company announced first-quarter income of $12.7 million, or 27 cents a share, vs. $12.7 million, or a quarter a share, a year ago. Analysts were looking for 22 cents a share.

Meanwhile, Greenville, Pa.-based office furniture maker Knoll (KNL) saw shares surge 13% to $13.30 on first-quarter earnings. The company announced that income had increased 17% year over year to $17.3 million and EPS improved to 36 cents form 30 cents. The Street had forecast EPS of 33 cents.

Finally, Cano Petroleum (CFW), a Fort Worth, Texas, oil and natural gas company, jumped 11% to $5.16. Canaccord Adams initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating.

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