After opening higher, small-cap stocks mainly hovered near the baseline along with the broader market Friday. Shares of Town Sports ( CLUB), a fitness club owner based in New York, ripped 30% higher to $9.70. The company announced first-quarter income of $4.8 million, or 18 cents a share, vs. a loss of $3.8 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting 15 cents a share. Town Sports also announced plans to buy back up to $25 million in its stock. Also rising, TeleCommunication Systems ( TSYS), an Annapolis, Md., maker of wireless communication technology, climbed 19% to $4.32. The company posted first-quarter income of $4.6 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with $2.4 million, or 6 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue climbed 18% year over year to $40.4 million. Shares of Wayne, Pa.-based aircraft components maker Triumph Group ( TGI) soared 17.3% upward to $70.46. The company reported fourth-quarter income of $21.3 million, or $1.26 a share, up from $15.5 million, or 93 cents a share, a year ago. The Street was looking for $1.04 a share. Blast-protected vehicle maker Force Protection ( FRPT) announced a $94 million contract to supply the U.K. military with its Cougar vehicles. Shares of the Lasdon, S.C.-based company jumped 11% to $3.32. On the losing side, Investools ( SWIM) shares plummeted 36% to $7.97. The New York provider of investment education and brokerage products announced earnings of $12 million, or 17 cents a share, vs. a $25 million loss a year ago. Analysts were looking for earnings of 21 cents a share. The company also said the Securities and Exchange Commission was conducting an informal inquiry into some of its presentations in company seminars. BMO Capital Markets and Kaufman Brothers both downgraded the stock to hold-equivalent ratings.
Meanwhile, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.'s Asta Funding ( ASFI), which purchases distressed performing and nonperforming consumer receivables, saw shares fall 33% to $10.06. Asta announced its Chairman Arthur Stern and his family have agreed to loan $8.2 million to the company. Asta said it will use the money to pay down its revolving line of credit with a consortium of banks. Magma Design ( LAVA) reported non-GAAP fourth-quarter fiscal 2008 earnings of $8 million, or 17 cents a share, up from $3.7 million, or 9 cents a share, a year ago. The San Diego, Calif., microchip designer's EPS results beat the consensus estimate by a penny, but it guided lower for its first quarter, forecasting 7 cents a share to 9 cents a share. The Street expects 14 cents a share. Needham downgraded Magma to hold from buy. More broadly, the Russell 2000 slid 0.4% to 726.66, and the S&P SmallCap 600 was off 0.4% to 383.93.