Small-cap stocks opened in positive territory and mainly stayed there Thursday, outpacing the gains made by the broader market. The Russell 2000 added 0.6% to 731.7, and the S&P SmallCap 600 tacked on 0.5% to 386.62. Among the winners, San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Santander Bancorp ( SBP) climbed 21% to $12.17. For the quarter ended March 31, the company reported income of $17.7 million, or 38 cents a share, vs. $11.7 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings of 13 cents a share. Also rising, Miami clothing designer Perry Ellis ( PERY) jumped 18% to $28.84. For the first quarter, Perry announced first-quarter fiscal 2009 earnings of $9.1 million, or 60 cents a share, down 4.3% from the year-ago quarter. The Street was looking for EPS of 55 cents. Citi Trends ( CTRN), a Savannah, Ga., vendor of urban fashion apparel and accessories, announced first-quarter income of $5.2 million, or 36 cents a share, down from $5.7 million, or 40 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts were looking for 34 cents a share. Shares climbed 12% to $20.07. Seacaucus, N.J.'s Children's Place ( PLCE) soared 12% to $31.64. For the first quarter, the company, which sells children-oriented items, posted earnings of $19.5 million, or 67 cents a share, vs. $14.7 million, or 49 cents a share, a year ago. Wall Street had predicted 50 cents a share. On the losing side, Blue Coat Systems ( BCSI) gave up 21% to $17.93. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based software purveyor announced non-GAAP income of $13.1 million, or 33 cents a share, vs. $15.3 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts had expected earnings of 40 cents a share.
Meanwhile, shares of Houston-based ExpressJet Holdings ( XJT), which operates airline Continental Express, fell 37% to $1.72. The company said it would cut back on its schedule by 30%, citing higher fuel prices. Finally, Jackson Hewitt ( JTX), a Parsippany, N.J., tax preparation company, fell 13% to $13 after forecasting full-2008 EPS between $1.34 and $1.39, down from a previous view of $1.48 to $1.60 and below the consensus estimate of $1.51.