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.

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