Duncan Energy, Zale: Small-Cap Winners

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Duncan Energy ( DEP) were soaring 24% to $40.29 after Enterprise Product Partners ( EPD) offered to buy out the natural gas provider for $2.4 billion in an all units deal.

Enterprise Products owns 58% of Duncan Energy. Enterprise intends to buy all outstanding publicly-owned units in a unit-for-unit exchange. Enterprise would offer shareholders of Duncan 0.9545 shares of Enterprise for each share of Duncan, valuing it at $42 per share, a premium of 30% to the 10-day average closing price.

Strong quarterly results were driving a number of small-caps on Wednesday. The stock of Endologix ( ELGX) rose 22% to $6.70 on high volumes after the company, which medical device company swung to profit in the fourth quarter and reported a 41% growth in revenues. The company reported a net income of $6.9 million or 14 cents per share on a GAAP basis. Excluding one off items, it broke even. Analysts were expecting it to post a loss of 1 cent per share.

Jewlry retailer Zale ( ZLC) saw its stock jump 12.4% to $4.79 after it said its fourth-quarter profit quadrupled. Zale earned $27.2 million, or 73 cents a share, compared with $6.7 million, or 21 cents, in the year prior. Analysts were calling for a profit of $1.27 a share.

Stronger-than-expected results also sent the shares of CNO Financial ( CNO) higher. The insurance company said net income rose to $168.2 million, or 56 cents per share, from $18.2 million, or 9 cents, a year ago.

Excluding one-time investment gains and losses, the reserve release and other unusual items, the company reported operating income of $51.7 million, or 18 cents per share, up from $32 million, or 15 cents, a year ago. That beat analyst expectations by 2 cents.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals ( SNSSD) announced that vosaroxin, the company's lead drug candidate, has been granted Fast Track designation by U.S. regulators for the potential treatment of relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia.

The Fast Track designation process was developed by the FDA to facilitate the development and expedite the review of new therapies that are intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs. It allows for the possibility of a "rolling submission," or submission of individual sections as they become available, for a marketing application and provides eligibility for a priority (six month) review period by the FDA.

Energy stocks dominated the list of small-cap gainers amid rising oil prices. Shares of Cheniere Energy ( CHK) climbed 5.7% to $9.45. Kodiak Oil & Gas ( KOG) and Samson Oil & Gas ( SSN) were among the notable gainers.

--Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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