Accelr8 Technology ( AXK) and Fonar ( FONR), a couple of health-care stocks, were among the small-cap winners Thursday. Accelr8 shares rocketed 48% after the Denver-based company received a notice of allowance on a patent covering methods used in its BACcel rapid diagnostic platform, which quickly identifies major multiple drug resistant bacteria, or "superbugs." That means the patent -- Accelr8's first for that system -- is close to being issued. Shares were up $1.18 to $3.64. Fonar, a medical-equipment maker based in Melville, N.Y., soared 24.5% to $7.32 after Health Diagnostics ordered six of its Fonar Upright Multi-Position magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. Terms weren't disclosed. Elsewhere, WSI Industries ( WSCI) upped the fiscal 2008 sales forecast for its developing-energy business to between $10 million and $11 million from the prior range of $6 million to $8 million. Shares of the Monticello, Minn., company vaulted $1.58, or 30.6%, to $6.75. And Sharper Image ( SHRP) board Chairman Jerry Levin upped his holdings in the company by two-thirds to 250,000 shares as CEO Steven Lightman picked up about another 89,000 shares for a total of some 239,000. Three VPs and another board member also recently bought up Sharper Image stock, as disclosed in regulatory filings last night. The San Francisco specialty retailer flew 45.5% higher at $2.72, recovering from some of last week's losses after a court rejected a class-action lawsuit settlement regarding one of its products.
On the flipside, Consolidated Graphics ( CGX) slid 11.7% on disappointing preliminary results for the quarter ended Sept. 30. The Houston-based purveyor of printing services now expects earnings of between 95 cents and 98 cents a share, compared with prior guidance of $1.01 to $1.07. At least $7 million was cut from the previous revenue outlook to around $260 million. Three analysts polled by Thomson Financial are looking for $1.05 a share, excluding special items; two peg revenue at $270.9 million. Shares were changing hands at $59.22. Labor Ready ( LRW), a Tacoma, Wash., temporary-staffing agency, offered below-par fourth-quarter guidance. Income should range between 32 cents to 34 cents a share, and sales are predicted at $345 million to $350 million. Labor Ready beat third-quarter earnings targets by a penny, but shares were still off 10.8% to $18.68. On2 Technologies ( ONT) offered 13 million of its shares, along with an underwriters' option for another 1.95 million in order to cover overallotments. Shares of the Tarrytown, N.Y., video-compression technology firm slid 14.3% to $1.08. Finally, Nektar Therapeutics ( NKTR) took a sharp fall after Pfizer ( PFE)
decided to abandon Exubera, a disappointing inhaled-insulin product that the companies jointly developed. San Carlos, Calif.-based Nektar emphasized in a press release that it "has multiple sources of revenue, important partnerships for products on the market and in development, and a diverse pipeline of innovative new proprietary therapies." Still, its shares closed off $1.41, or 17.5%, to $6.67. Pfizer finished down a penny to $24.54. More broadly, the Russell 2000 was up marginally to 824.98 as the S&P SmallCap 600 added 0.1% at 428.29.