Small-Cap Winners & Losers: Pacific Ethanol
Small-cap stocks opened the week with a jump to the upside, joining the broader market's rally Monday. The Russell 2000 was up 0.8% at 746.83 and the S&P SmallCap 600 climbed 0.8% to 395.20.
Leading the charge upward was Pacific Ethanol (PEIX), which produces and sells ethanol. Shares of the Sacramento, Calif. company jumped 48% to $4.75. For the first quarter, Pacific Ethanol reported that revenue rose 63% year over year to $161.5 million. It also posted a loss of $36.3 million, or 90 cents a share, vs. a profit of 5 cents a share a year ago. The most recent results included a 96-cent one-time charge. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who typically do not include one-time charges in their estimates, were expecting a 9-cent loss.
Brookings, S.D.-based VeraSun Energy (VSE), another ethanol company, appeared to piggyback off Pacific Ethanol, rising 18% to $7.29.
Meanwhile Ocean Power Technologies (OPTT), a Pennington, N.J., maker of systems that harness energy from ocean waves, announced a joint development agreement with Griffin Wave Power to create a wave power station off the coast of Western Australia. Shares added 18% to $11.71.Also rising, Oklahoma City, Okla.-based energy company Quest Resource (QRCP) announced it terminated a merger agreement with Pinnacle Gas Resources (PINN). Quest shares soared 18% to $10.53 on the news, while Pinnacle lost 28% to $2.88. Finally, Chemed (CHE), a Cincinnati hospice-care provider, suffered a downgrade by Deutsche Securities to hold from buy, and shares slumped 3.1% to $34.05.
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