After several days of losses, small-cap stocks staged an early comeback along with the broader market Wednesday. The Russell 2000 added 1% to 746.02, and the S&P SmallCap 600 climbed 0.9% to 394.15.
Among the winners, Bob Evans Farms (BOBE - Get Report) climbed 15.5% to $33.60 after the restaurant chain posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings after Tuesday's market close. The company earned $16.1 million, or 52 cents a share, compared with $15.3 million, or 42 cents a share, a year ago. Sales came to $436.4 million, up from $418.4 million last year. Analysts were looking for earnings of 41 cents a share on $441.5 million in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters data. Looking forward, Bob Evans expects fiscal 2009 earnings of $2 to $2.10 a share.
Meanwhile, shares of Novatel Wireless (NVTL) jumped 7.6% to $11.72. The San Diego, Calif., provider of wireless broadband access solutions received an upgrade from Morgan Joseph to buy from hold.
Medical device company Datascope (DSCP) rallied 10% to $46.14. The Montvale, N.J.-based firm announced it will explore strategic alternatives in response to expressions of interest it received after selling its patient monitoring business.On the losing side, Frontier Financial (FTBK), the Everett, Wash.-based holding company for Frontier Bank said it was ending its merger with Washington Banking (WBCO). Frontier lost 3.9% to $13.97, and Washington Banking plummeted 20% to $10.01.