The small-cap sector strayed in and out of positive territory Tuesday before surging late in the trading day, but among the big losers was apparel maker Oxford Industries ( OXM). Shares plunged 21.2% to $28.55 after the Atlanta-based company said its continuing-operations income
slid 57.2% year over year to $4.8 million, or 27 cents a share, in the quarter ended Aug. 31. Sales were off 16.2% to $237.9 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had sought 46 cents a share, minus extraordinary items, on a top line of $247.3 million. The Children's Place ( PLCE), a children's clothing retailer, said its fiscal third-quarter EPS should be at least 60% under the 94-cent low end of prior guidance -- that is, some 38 cents or below, including a 7-cent charge for severance payments to former CEO Ezra Dabah. Analysts are looking for 97 cents a share before special items. Fourth-quarter and full-year earnings should also come in "significantly below" prior expectations. The Secaucus, N.J., outfit blamed too-high inventory levels paired with poor revenue trends -- including about a 3% drop in September same-store sales -- which forced "a substantial amount of unplanned markdowns." Children's Place stock surrendered $1.52, or 6.3%, to $22.80. On the other hand, China Sunergy ( CSUN) shot up 24.6% after the solar-power semiconductor concern inked a deal to supply around 106 metric tons of solar-grade multicrystalline polysilicon to Luoyang Zhonggui High-tech, a polysilicon maker, in 2007 and 2008. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Shares of the China-based company climbed $2.48 to $12.56.
comScore ( SCOR), a purveyor of products that track consumer behavior, surged 19% to $37.15 after ramping up its third-quarter adjusted-profit estimate to between $4.4 million and $4.8 million, or 15 cents to 17 cents a share. The Reston, Va., company previously expected 11 cents to 12 cents a share. And Implant Sciences ( IMX), of Wakefield, Mass., said it shipped six units of its Quantum Sniffer BTS Benchtop Explosives Detection System to its Chinese distributor for delivery to the Beijing police, who are expected to use the products for security and antiterrorism measures during the 2008 Olympics. Implant shares were up 4% to $1.90 in heavier-than-usual volume. More broadly, the Russell 2000 and the S&P SmallCap 600 were both up about 0.7%.