Small-cap stocks trailed the rest of the market Tuesday, but among these, a few health care names excelled nonetheless. For instance, New Jersey's Pharmos ( PARS) was one of today's best-performing stocks overall, surging 37.3% after its cannabinor treatment achieved the primary endpoint of a phase IIa trial. The cannabinoid -- a synthetic compound chemically related to marijuana -- yielded statistically significant results in post-operative pain relief. Shares gained 56 cents to $2.06. Symbion ( SMBI) vaulted 17.9% to $22.43 after the Nashville, Tenn., surgical-facilities operator agreed to sell itself to private-equity firm Crestview Partners for $22.35 a share. The $637 million deal (including debt assumption) should close in the third quarter. And biotech Halozyme Therapeutics ( HTI) shares leapt 11.1% to $9.94 after the company agreed to sell 3.5 million newly minted company shares to New River Management at a premium of $9.17 apiece. Elsewhere, California's Irvine Sensors ( IRSN) surged 27.3% to $1.68 after its Optex Systems unit received more than $9 million in new orders for its military optical systems. These should begin shipping in the second half of fiscal 2007. Firearms maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. ( RGR) climbed 11.5% to $13.44 after first-quarter income ratcheted up more than sevenfold from last year to 36 cents a share, or $8.1 million. Volterra Semiconductor ( VLTR), meanwhile, gained 10.8% to $16.44 after first-quarter earnings added a penny on last year to 7 cents a share, squaring with Wall Street targets, according to Thomson Financial. House of Taylor Jewelry ( HOTJ), based in West Hollywood, Calif., brought in more than six times higher fourth-quarter 2006 sales year over year. Shares leapt 7.6% to $2.40.
On the other hand, Britain-based drugmaker Amarin ( AMRN) was freefalling nearly 78% after phase III testing of its treatment for Huntington's disease, Miraxion, failed both primary and secondary endpoints. Shares lost $2.94 to 84 cents. Golfsmith International ( GOLF), an Austin, Texas-based retailer of golf and tennis equipment, plunged more than 14% to $6.85 after lowering its first-quarter outlook by at least 11 cents, now expecting to lose 31 cents to 32 cents a share. Analysts are looking for a loss of just 22 cents. Forward Air ( FWRD), a trucker for the deferred air-freight market, suffered a 10.9% drop to $30.01 after missing the Street's profit consensus by 2 cents a share. Also hurting today was Chinese semiconductor company Vimicro International ( VIMC), lately sliding 10.3% to $5.50 after delaying the release of its year-end 2006 financials due to an auditor change, and motor-coach maker Monaco Coach ( MNC), which was cut to underperform by RBC Capital Markets. Shares recently dropped 7.6% at $15.24. The Russell 2000 and S&P SmallCap 600 indices were both slightly lower recently.