Small stocks vaulted higher than the broader market on Wednesday, largely on positive earnings from names such as TTM Technologies ( TTMI). The Santa Ana, Calif., maker of printed circuit boards soared more than 29% to $11.85 after reporting that first-quarter profits totaled $8.5 million, or 20 cents a share -- 15 cents higher per share than Wall Street's consensus, according to Thomson Financial. Joining TTM in the green zone were fellow tech stocks Voxware ( VOXW), a business-software firm, and Mountain View, Calif., semiconductor company Cavium Networks ( CAVM). New Jersey-based Voxware tripled its value to $6.83 after saying it swung to a first-quarter profit of $685,000, or a dime a share, from a 34-cent per-share loss last year. Sales nearly doubled to $3.6 million. Cavium, meanwhile, vaulted 24.2% to $16.76 following its initial public offering of 6.75 million shares, plus an underwriter's option for about another million in order to cover any overallotments. Buffalo Wild Wings ( BWLD), a Minneapolis-based restaurant chain, likewise handily beat Wall Street expectations with mounting first-quarter profits of $5.5 million, or 63 cents a share. Its stock jumped 14.4% to $74.19. LoJack ( LOJN), a Westwood, Mass., maker of security equipment, more than doubled its profits year over year to 32 cents a share -- a dime over estimates. Shares shot up $2.21, or 12.2%, to $20.31.
Florida-based Nabi Biopharmaceuticals ( NABI) was also rising after a phase IIb trial of NicVax -- its proposed treatment for nicotine addiction -- achieved its primary endpoint. Shares surged 12.7% to $5.79. Elsewhere in the health sector, California's Pain Therapeutics ( PTIE) gained 13.1% to $8.65 after it posted a 28-cent per-share profit in the first quarter, which powered past analysts' downside expectations. Among small-cap health laggards, however, was CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals ( CGPI), which said a patient in midphase testing for its proposed acne treatment, incyclinide, sustained "apparent significant photo-toxicity" -- a severe reaction to sunlight and "a known side effect of tetracyclines," of which incyclinide is a modified form. The Newton, Pa., drugmaker is investigating the incident and, in the interim, has halted further enrollment in the study. Shares were losing more than 18% at $11.45. Meanwhile, Canada's Neurochem ( NRMX) slid 16% to $9.74 on word it privately sold $80 million in convertible bonds, and fellow drugmaker Santarus ( SNTS), of San Diego, was off 12.3% at $6.95 after losing 3 cents more per share in the first quarter than Wall Street had predicted. Returning to the tech sector, real-estate Web site Move ( MOVE) broke even in the first quarter, missing analysts' projections by 2 cents despite gaining 2 cents on last year. The California-based company recently plunged 10% to $4.23. And Florida-based Forward ( FORD), which makes accessories for handheld electronics, swung to a small loss from penny-a-share profits a year ago. Shares sank 15% at $3.40. The Russell 2000 Index lately jumped 12.09 points, or 1.5%, to 828.34. The S&P Small-Cap 600 Index gained 6.79, or 1.6%, at 429.57.