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Playboy, Helicos: Early Volume Plays

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Several stocks trading under $5 were poised to move on above-average volume during Tuesday's session.

Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) dropped by $1.11, or 22.2%, to $3.90 in the premarket session after the retailer late Monday reported third-quarter earnings and guided the fourth quarter below consensus. Pacific Sunwear said it now expects a fourth-quarter loss of 28 cents to 35 cents a share, compared to the Thomson Reuters average estimate for a loss of 11 cents a share. The 50-day average daily volume for Pacific Sunwear is 1.1 million, according to the Nasdaq.

Playboy (PLA) slumped by 46 cents, or 9.6%, to $4.32 in the premarket session after the company late Monday said Linda Havard has decided to step down as executive vice president and chief financial officer effective Dec. 31. The announcement comes less than a week after Bloomberg reported that the company is in talks to sell itself to Iconix (ICON), which specializes in acquiring under-leveraged brands and exploit them through licensing. The three-month average daily volume for Playboy is 455,000, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Helicos BioSciences (HLCS) jumped by 18 cents, or 11.6%, to $1.73 in the premarket session after the company announced the sale of a Helicos genetic analysis system to the Leiden University Medical Center. The 50-day average daily volume for Helicos is 1.6 million, according to the Nasdaq.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR) rose by 25 cents, or 6.7%, to $3.98 in the premarket session after a report a director bought 30,000 shares of the company at $3.50 on Nov. 12. The 50-day average daily volume for Questcor is 621,000, according to the Nasdaq.

Cerus Corp. (CERS) fell by 36 cents, or 14.1%, to $2.20 in the premarket session after the blood-safety products maker said an U.S. advisory committee recommended more stringent safety margins for comparing platelets with its Intercept blood system and conventional platelets. The 50-day average daily volume for Cerus is 695,000, according to the Nasdaq.

DRI Corp. (TBUS) plummeted by 45 cents, or 20.9%, to $1.70 in the premarket session after the company late Monday reported third-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share, below 11-cents-a-share average target of two analysts. Sales rose 15% to $21.6 million, also below consensus. DRI's earnings guidance for the fourth quarter was well below expectations as well, although revenue guidance for 2009 and 2010 was better than expected. The 50-day average daily volume for DRI is 100,000, according to the Nasdaq.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York.

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