Small stocks generally hung on the lower rungs of the broader market Thursday, but several tech names -- among them
Vasco Data Security International
-- helped keep things afloat.
The Illinois-based security-software company soared 27% to $22.42 after
first-quarter estimates by 2 cents a share with profits -- 13 cents a share, or $5 million -- that rose 324% year over year. Sales gained 93% on last year to $26.4 million and bested Street targets, according to Thomson Financial.
, another tech stock, said it has procured new projects that should bring in revenue of roughly $10 million in 2007. Shares of the Hackensack, N.J., information-technology firm surged 26% to $3.65. Flat-panel-display maker
Innovative Solutions & Support
, of Pennsylvania, gained 17% to $28.54 after saying its order backlog had vaulted 51% to $42.7 million from last year, despite widening fiscal second-quarter losses that were far short of Street targets.
Pediatric Services of America
, a home health-care company for infants and children, bounced 15.6% on word Portfolio Logic -- which already has a 14.9% stake in the company -- will take it private for $16.25 a share in cash. Shares added $2.14 to $15.84.
, based in Houston, shot up 20% to $26.64 on word it will buy "the assets of five energy-related businesses" from the Davison family of Ruston, La., for some $560 million in cash and stock.
Tech stocks also figured prominently among the small-cap decliners.
, for instance, plummeted 29% to $12.86 after posting a first-quarter loss of a nickel a share, which was 2 cents short of estimates. Likewise for
, shares of which saw heavy trading volume and a 16% slide to $1, after the California-based company posted a 2-cent miss with a loss of 5 cent a share. The company was downgraded by two analysts on the news.
Other tech stocks issuing lower-than-expected bottom lines included communications-equipment maker
, off 14% to $8.86;
, which lost 14% to $9.11; and
, a semiconductor company, down 10% to $33.52.
Elsewhere, business-services firm
sliced its 2007 earnings outlook by at least 53 cents to range between 85 cents and 90 cents a share, scaring shares down $2.08, or 9.1%, to $20.77, and drugmaker
was 10% lower at $1.77 after selling $8 million in convertible debentures and warrants to institutional investors.
The Russell 2000 Index was recently up 0.3% to 834.72. The S&P SmallCap 600 Index added 0.4% at 430.15.