Wednesday's Small-Cap Winners & Losers

Small companies take a hit along with the rest of the market Wednesday.
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Small-cap stocks joined the rest of the slipping market on the ride down Wednesday, with several names pressured by analyst downgrades.

Methode Electronics

(METH)

shares were pummeled after a Robert W. Baird analyst cut the Chicago-based component-maker to underperform, citing valuation and an over-reliance on the weakened automotive industry. Shares were sinking $2.37, or 14.9%, to $13.52.

Shuffle Master

(SHFL)

, a Las Vegas-based gambling-equipment maker, lost 5.4% to $16.93 on a Prudential downgrade to neutral from overweight.

Sturm, Ruger & Co.

(RGR) - Get Report

was off 3.8% to $12.27 after CL King cut the firearms-products maker to neutral from strong buy.

Dental-laser company

BioLase Technology

(BLTI)

was also on the downswing, recently plunging 21.3% to $7.95 after

estimating

a loss on first-quarter sales of between $14.5 million and $15 million. Three analysts polled by Thomson Financial are seeking penny-a-share earnings; two project $18.6 million in revenue. Medical-products maker

E-Z-EM's

(EZEM)

$33.6 million revenue fell short of the sole revenue target for the third fiscal quarter, dragging shares down $1.60, or 9.6%, to $15.

Canada's

Neurochem

(NRMX)

slid after the Food and Drug Administration delayed the action date for a drug by three months to July 16. Eprodisate is the company's Swiss-based subsidiary's proposed treatment for AA amyloidosis, a fatal condition arising from chronic inflammatory disorders. Shares were tumbling $1.65, or 11%, to $13.35.

On the other hand,

Isonics

(ISON)

rocketed more than 82% in furious trading after the specialty-chemicals maker announced a plan to bump up its stockholders' equity past $2.5 million in order to regain

Nasdaq

compliance following last month's receipt of a delisting warning. Shares of the Golden, Colo., company were up 88 cents to $1.95.

Texas-based

MDI

(MDII)

surged 19.6% to $1.65 after its command-and-control platform was chosen by a major U.S. Army installation for securing "critical government assets at 16 new building sites." Terms were undisclosed. Elsewhere, Pacific Growth Equities began coverage on

VNUS Medical Technologies

(VNUS)

with a buy rating. The analyst cited good prospects for its primary product line, a treatment for the cause of varicose veins. Shares were 10.1% higher to $11.04.

The Russell 2000 and the S&P SmallCap 600 were each recently losing about 1%.