Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX - Get Report) surged after the Fresno, Calif., renewable-fuels company said it completed the sale of 5.25 million preferred shares to Cascade Investment for $84 million.

The shares are convertible into common stock. According to the initial conversion ratio, each preferred share is convertible into two common shares.

The company also said it completed a debt financing worth up to $34 million with Hudson United Bank. Pacific Ethanol said part of the proceeds from the preferred stock offering and all of the proceeds from the debt financing will be used to complete the construction of its ethanol-production plant in Madera County, Calif. Remaining proceeds will go toward paying construction costs for other ethanol plants.

Shares of Pacific Ethanol gained $3.88, or 13.3%, to $33.15.

Crown Media Holdings ( CRWN) fell after the Greenwood Village, Colo., company, which owns and operates the Hallmark Channel, took itself off the block after failing to find a buyer. Crown said last August that its board had authorized management to explore strategic alternatives, but none of the options that were pursued worked out, meaning it will remain independent.

Separately, Crown said Chris Moseley, the chief marketing officer of Hallmark channel, has decided to leave the company at the end of the month. Shares of Crown fell 82 cents, or 14.1%, to $4.98.

Covad Communications Group ( DVW), a provider of voice and data communications, signed a two-year $50 million senior secured revolving credit facility with Silicon Valley Bank. The company made the announcement after the market closed Thursday.

As part of the transaction, Covad redeemed its existing collateralized customer deposit liability with AT&T ( T - Get Report). The liability has now been terminated, and AT&T relinquished its liens on Covad's assets. Covad also said it will withdraw the shelf registration statement it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last October. Shares of Covad were gaining 10 cents, or 4.2%, to $2.48.

World Air Holdings ( WLDA), the Peachtree City, Ga., holding company for World Airways and World Risk Solutions, named Michael Towe chief financial officer.

Most recently, Towe was the CFO of Roper Industries ( ROP), an industrial company based in Duluth, Ga. Previously he had a 27-year career at GE ( GE). Shares of World Air dropped 2 cents, or 0.2%, to $9.18.