Small-cap stocks fared far better than the broader market Wednesday, generally staying positive as the major indices slumped into negative territory. The Russell 2000 was up 0.5% at 739.25, and the S&P SmallCap 600 was likewise up 0.5% at 391.00.
Shares of U.S. Geothermal (HTM - Get Report), a Boise, Idaho, company that develops geothermal properties, soared 13% to $2.69. RBC Capital Markets initiated coverage of the stock with an outperform rating. U.S. Geothermal also announced a joint venture with Gerlach Green Energy to explore the Gerlach geothermal system located in northwestern Nevada.
Oil and gas company Endeavour (END) jumped 12.6% to $1.79. The Houston-based company announced a natural gas discovery in the Norwegian North Sea. It said it will participate in the drilling of eight wells overall in 2008.
Willow Financial Bancorp (WFBC) added 22% to $9.42. The Wayne, Pa., provider of commercial banking services announced Harleysville National (HNBC) would buy it in an all-stock deal. Each share of Willow Financial stock will be exchanged for 0.73 shares of Harleysville stock. Harleysville National shares shed 4% to $13.54 on the news.Also on the losing side, Westborough, Mass., information technology services company Virtusa (VRTU - Get Report) stumbled 9% to $10.86 after offering weak guidance. The firm predicted earnings between 70 cents and 79 cents a share for the fiscal year ending in March 2009. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are expecting EPS of 90 cents. Finally, Guaranty Financial (GFG), an Austin, Texas commercial and retail banking services provider, slipped 11% to $5.34. The company announced a stock offering of up to $350 million.