Small-cap stocks rode high atop Thursday's best-performing major index, the Nasdaq, amid a plethora of good news out of the sector. Penford ( PENX) shares traded furiously to catapult 32.4% on impressive results for the quarter ended May 31. The Englewood, Colo., company, which makes ingredient systems for industrial and food applications, more than doubled its income from last year to $5 million, or 54 cents a share -- double the sole analyst's estimate from Thomson Financial. Shares were changing hands at $25.65. Among the day's most impressive winners was CryoCor ( CRYO), which booked gains of some 81% after the Food and Drug Administration's advisory panel recommended pre-market-approval of the San Diego company's cryoablation system, a device that treats atrial flutter (abnormal heartbeat). The FDA's ultimate decision should come in August. Shares were up $2.05 to $4.59. The S&P SmallCap 600 index, of which Penford is a member, climbed 0.4% to 435.27. The Russell 2000 rose 0.3% as one of its components, Comverge ( COMV), surged 14.7% to $32.41 on news it will buy Enerwise Global Technologies for $75.7 million in cash, stock and subordinated convertible bonds. Comverge, an East Hanover, N.J., energy-equipment company, said it should pull in about $9 million in revenue from Enerwise during the remaining two quarters of 2007, and expects per-share earnings accretion to begin in 2008.
Another Russell 2000 member, Verenium ( VRNM), bounced 12.2% after saying the Department of Energy has allocated it $4.6 million over five years as a member of a biofuels-production-research team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Shares of the Cambridge, Mass., company tacked on 64 cents to $5.89. But Euro Tech ( CLWT), a water-treatment company based in Hong Kong, slid 16.8% after preliminarily reporting it had halved its fiscal 2006 profit to roughly $361,000 vs. fiscal 2005 on shrinking revenue. Shares gave up 47 cents to $2.30. Elsewhere, Momenta Pharmaceuticals ( MNTA) was off 6.7% to $10.56 after warning investors that the FDA will probably take longer to review M-Enoxaparin, its generic form of Sanofi-Aventis' ( SNY) blood-clot drug Lovenox, than the previously announced estimate of 18 to 24 months. Sandoz, a Novartis ( NVS) subsidiary with which Momenta is developing M-Enoxaparin, submitted an abbreviated new-drug application for the compound in August 2005. Sanofi was lately flat at $40.68 as Novartis gained 1%.