Small-cap stocks were mostly crawling beneath the sinking major indices Wednesday amidst disappointing earnings from a variety of sectors. Veraz Networks ( VRAZ) shares plunged more than 40% after the communication-equipment maker sharply missed Wall Street expectations for the third quarter. The San Jose, Calif., company swung to a profit of $332,000, or a penny a share, from a steep year-ago loss, but analysts were looking for 2 cents more. Jefferies downgraded the stock to hold from buy. Shares were off $3.28 to $4.84. Also in the tech sector, Imergent ( IIG) sank 19.1% to $17.80 after the purveyor of e-commerce technology posted a fiscal first-quarter loss of $800,000, or 7 cents a share. Last year the Orem, Utah, company delivered a profit of 18 cents a share. Construction company MasTec ( MTZ), meanwhile, took a 25.9% nose dive after pro forma income dropped 18.2% from last year to 18 cents a share, missing targets by a penny. On a GAAP basis, it swung to a continuing-operations loss of 40 cents a share thanks in large part to expensive settlements on "various legacy legal claims, cases and other disputes." Shares of the Coral Gables, Fla., company were losing $3.66 to $10.46. And Georgia's Carmike Cinemas ( CKEC) tumbled 19.7% on a wide miss. The movie theater operator posted a profit of $2 million, or 16 cents a share, against a year-ago loss, but analysts were seeking a profit of 37 cents a share. Revenue, at $135.3 million, was also below par despite representing a gain over last year. Shares were changing hands at $3.02.
Away from earnings, Credence Systems ( CMOS), of Milpitas, Calif., was cut to sell at Citigroup after announcing that CFO Joy Leo will depart after the company files its annual report for the fiscal year ended Nov. 3. Shares of the semiconductor test-products maker were sliding 52 cents, or 17.1%, to $2.52. The Russell 2000, which tracks all of the above stocks, was sinking 17.32 points, or 2.2%, to 784.45. The S&P SmallCap 600 performed similarly. But Florida's Website Pros ( WSPI) was among the biggest small-cap price gainers, bouncing 14.8% after saying non-GAAP income jumped from last year to $2.9 million, or 15 cents a share. Analysts were looking for just 13 cents a share. Revenue ballooned 48% to $17.8 million, which comes in just over the average Street estimate. Shares were rising $1.49 to $11.53. Joining it in positive territory was pizza chain Papa John's ( PZZA), which boosted its 2007 earnings outlook by at least another 4 cents to between $1.64 to $1.68 a share -- the company's third full-year upward revision so far. The Louisville, Ky., company also reported a growing third-quarter profit of 31 cents a share, excluding special items, that met analysts' projections. Shares were gaining $1.48, or 6.5%, to $24.30.