Small-cap stocks were buoyant Tuesday on the power of the climbing broad market and good news out of a few sectors. United Retail Group ( URGI) was a big winner, skyrocketing more than 77% on word Redcats Group agreed to buy the plus-size women's-apparel retailer for $13.70 a share -- an 81.5% premium to Monday's closing price. The $198.9 million all-cash deal should close by year-end. Shares of the Rochelle Park, N.J., company gained $5.85 to $13.40. Nabi Biopharmaceuticals ( NABI) shot up 20.9% after agreeing to sell its Biologics strategic-business unit to Germany's Biotest Pharmaceuticals for $185 million. The deal includes the unit's products, certain of Nabi's Corporate Shared Services group assets, and the company's headquarters, among other things. After the deal closes -- likely in the fourth quarter -- Nabi will shift its headquarters to an existing facility in Rockville, Md. Shares gained 72 cents to $4.16. Meanwhile, G-III Apparel ( GIII) surged 20.2% after narrowing its fiscal second-quarter loss by nearly two-thirds from last year to a nickel a share, or $884,000. That shatters Thomson Financial's expectations for a 20-cent per-share loss. The New York-based company also added 8 cents to its full-year income outlook range, now expecting 98 cents to $1.03 a share. Analysts are seeking 95 cents. Shares were trading at $20.57.
The Russell 2000 was up 0.8% to 775.58 around midday thanks in part to Nabi and G-III, and the S&P SmallCap 600 added 0.9% to 410.1. MFRI ( MFRI) ranked among the losers, however, plummeting 26.5% after widely missing top- and bottom-line targets. The Niles, Ill., outfit nearly halved its fiscal second-quarter earnings vs. last year to $1.4 million, or 21 cents a share, on revenue of $58.9 million. Two analysts were seeking 44 cents a share on $68.8 million in revenue. Shares of the company, which makes piping systems for oil-and-gas gathering, among other things, surrendered $6.16 to $17.10. Syntax-Brillian ( BRLC) stock also got a black eye after the Tempe, Ariz., hi-def television maker delayed its fiscal 2007 earnings release, which was originally slated for today after the close. The company didn't specify any revised date, but said it will be on or before the filing date of its year-end regulatory filing. Shares slid 55 cents, or 8.1%, to $6.25. Elsewhere in the tech sector, Smart Modular Technologies ( SMOD) sank 12.4% on soft guidance. The Fremont, Calif., semiconductor concern estimated fiscal-fourth-quarter sales of some $160 million to $165 million -- down about 16% to 19% from a year ago and at least $41.7 million below the Street's consensus. GAAP earnings should range between 21 cents and 23 cents a share. Smart stock lost $1.12 to $7.90.