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CSP, Pacific Capital: Midday Volume Plays

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- CSP (CSPI) was among several stocks trading near $5 were moving on above-average volume Wednesday after the company posted quarterly results.

CSP said it had a second-quarter profit of 28 cents a share, up sharply from a year-ago profit of 6 cents a share. Sales rose 6.3% to $23.9 million. The company added that it was "cautiously optimistic as we enter the second half of fiscal 2010."

CSP shares were rallying 76 cents, or 21.8%, to $4.25. Volume topped 507,000 shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 4,700, according to the Nasdaq.

Pacific Capital Bancorp (PCBC) shares continue to rebound from last week's sharp selloff. On Thursday, Pacific Capital Bancorp said it will receive $500 million from the sale of 225 million shares to private-equity firm Ford Financial Fund at a price of 20 cents per share. Pacific Capital will also sell 455,000 shares of newly created preferred stock to Ford Financial at $1,000 per share.

Pacific Capital shares were rising 46 cents, or 27.4%, to $2.14, good for a three-day rally of 23.5%. Volume topped 10.08 million shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 3.81 million.

Cray (CRAY) slumped by 89 cents, or 13.3%, to $5.80 after the supercomputer manufacturer posted a first-quarter loss of 34 cents a share on sales of $28.4 million, compared with the Thomson Reuters average estimate for a loss of 22 cents a share on revenue of $41 million. Volume topped 482,000 shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 241,000.

Conseco (CNO) rose by 59 cents, or 10.2%, to $6.40 after the insurer reported first-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share, excluding net realized investment losses that amounted to a penny a share, compared to the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 13 cents a share. Volume topped 5.87 million shares, compared to the three-month average daily volume of 4.25 milliion, according to Yahoo! Finance.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

Check out all of Wednesday's high-volume, under-$5 stocks at the Dollar Store. View the Dollar Store portfolio on StockPickr.

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