The cheery broader market propelled small-cap stocks higher Wednesday, and among the biggest winners was Pericom Semiconductor ( PSEM). Shares soared more than 34% after fiscal first-quarter income vaulted to $3.9 million, or 15 cents a share, from last year's 6 cents a share. That easily beats analysts' 11-cent per-share estimates, according to Thomson Financial. The San Jose, Calif., company also brought in $38.5 million in sales, a 24.8% rise from last year and about $4.4 million above consensus. Pericom shares were up $4.04 to $15.80. That helped boost both the Russell 2000, recently up 0.6% to about 821, and the S&P SmallCap 600, which was gaining 0.4% to roughly 427. Both trackers soared earlier before getting temporarily jerked down immediately following the Federal Reserve's
decision to cut its key fed funds rate by 25 basis points. Among other small-cap gainers, Miami's Answerthink ( ANSR) more than doubled its third-quarter earnings to 7 cents a share, beating Street expectations by 2 cents. Shares of the business- and technology-consulting firm ramped up $1, or 32.4%, to $4.09. And First Consulting Group ( FCGI), a consulting firm for the health-care industry, catapulted 27.3% after Computer Sciences ( CSC) agreed to take it out for $13 a share in cash. The $365 million deal should close during the first calendar quarter of next year.
FCG shares were trading at $12.70; CSC, which expects the transaction to be neutral to earnings over the first year, tacked on 1% to $57.91. On the down side, however, Faro Technologies ( FARO) plummeted 22.1% after missing top- and bottom-line expectations for the third quarter. The Lake Mary, Fla., maker of software-based 3D measurement devices earned $4 million (excluding extraordinary items), or 25 cents a share, on $44.5 million in revenue. Analysts were looking for 32 cents a share on revenue of $48.1 million. Shares slid $8.43 to $29.65. SumTotal Systems ( SUMT), meanwhile, sank 14.6% to $4.86 on a below-par fourth-quarter outlook. The talent- and learning-management software developer expects non-GAAP earnings of 2 cents to 5 cents a share on revenue of $28 million to $30 million. Analysts are seeking 15 cents a share on $37.6 million. As for the most recent quarter, earnings met expectations and sales were just under. Elsewhere in negative territory, restaurant operator Buffalo Wild Wings ( BWLD) and rapid-prototyping-devices maker Stratasys ( SSYS) each missed per-share earnings targets by 2 cents with respective profits of 24 cents a share and 16 cents a share (non-GAAP). Shares of the companies plunged by 20.8% to $30.80 and 12.1% to $25.85, respectively.