Small-Cap Spotlight: Dex One, Acura Pharma
Acura Pharmaceuticals' stock is up nearly 24% to $4.79 on volume of 3.8 million, more than 25 times the issue's three-month trailing daily average of around 167,000. Before the opening bell, the company and its partner Pfizer (PFE) announced the receipt of marketing approval for Oxectatm tablets for pain management from the Food and Drug Administration.
Early in Monday's session, Acura shares soared to a new 52-week high of $6.76, underlining the volatility of the stock, which traded above $5 as recently as June 6.
A notable mover to the downside on Monday was Dice Holdings (DHX), which lost 7% to $11.90 on more than twice its daily average volume. There was no corporate news from the Urbandale, Iowa-based provider of technology job recruitment services, whose shares haven't dipped below $12 on an intraday basis since Dec. 10.
Evercore Partners initiated coverage of Dice on Monday with an overweight rating and $16 price target, saying the stock's weakness of late reflects "market fears about the economy and the LinkedIn (LNKD) IPO." Evercore's opinion, however, is that recent weekly job posting data suggest's Dice's business is "actually reaccelerating" and the firm's sees the company as: "A very well run, niche player in online recruitment."Evercore expects Dice to post adjusted earnings of 45 cents a share for fiscal 2011 on revenue of $175 million, slightly below the current consensus view for a profit of 48 cents a share on revenue of $177.4 million. "We believe Dice's strong brand position, rapid growth and vertical focus will position it well, particularly in the face of LinkedIn's rapid ascension in the more general professional end of the online recruitment market," Evercore stated. Wall Street was already fairly bullish on Dice ahead of Evercore's initiation with 5 of the 8 analysts covering the stock at either strong buy (4) or buy (1). -- Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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