Midday Movers: Pump Up the Volume

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Several small-cap stocks were moving on above-average volume during Friday's session.

Citizens First ( CZFC) soared by $3.53, or 94.2%, to $7.28 after the company called Porter Bancorp's ( PBIB) unsolicited purchase of options to acquire 15.8% of Citizens' common stock as "a hostile action." Citizens also said it would provide an outline of the steps management has undertaken to a complete reevaluation of bank operations and a series of steps designed to improve future performance on Oct. 20. Volume neared 80,000 shares, compared to the average three-month daily average of a meager 477 shares, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Agria ( GRO) jumped by 38 cents, or 17.4%, to $2.57 after the Chinese company late Thursday said it will acquire a 13% stake in New Zealand's PGG Wrightson, with the aim of becoming a cornerstone shareholder. Volume topped 800,000 shares, compared to the average three-month daily average of 209,000, according to Yahoo! Finance.

U.S. Energy Corp. ( USEG) surged by $1.86, or 47.2%, to $5.80 after the company said the production rate from the Brad Olson 9-16 #1H Bakken well during an initial 24-hour production test showed a rate of approximately 1,805 barrels of oil and 1.84 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Sales from this well are expected to commence immediately, the company said.The stock's volume topped 3.1 million, compared to the average 50-day daily average of 212,000 according to the Nasdaq.

Antares Pharma ( AIS) rose by 12 cents, or 10.5%, to $1.26 in the absence of any company-specific news. Investors posting on Internet message boards speculated that the stock was moving on institutional buying. Currently, 13% of the company's shares are institutionally owned. Volume neared 4 million shares Friday, compared to the average three-month daily average of 525,000, according to Yahoo! Finance.

PMI Group ( PMI) and Radian Group ( RDN) tumbled 13.5% to $3.27 and 15.8% to $7.24, respectively, as both traded lower in sympathy to larger rival MGIC Investment's ( MTG) wider-than-expected third-quarter loss. The mortgage company was hit by a rise in defaults, pressuring the stock. PMI saw volume of 4.4 million shares, above the three-month daily average of 3.2 million. Radian's volume topped 6.7 million shares, more than doubling its average volume, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Read more about today's high-volume stocks like Royale Energy in earlier "Pump Up the Volume" posts.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York.

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