Up and Down: Medifast, Liquidity Services, Sourcefire, Trex
The S&P 500 rose 1.8 percent last week as oil prices took their biggest fall since March. Local stocks rose 2.4 percent.
*Medifast's stock (MED) rose 19 percent last week, closing at $5.85 on Friday. It rose 12.6 percent on Wednesday, then 11.5 percent on Thursday, both days with higher-than-average trading activity. The Owings Mills company, which makes weight-loss products, on May 12 announced profit that was largely unchanged from the year-earlier period and reiterated its 2008 guidance. Shares are up 39 percent over the past three months.
*Shares of Liquidity Services (LQDT) also took a big jump last week, rising 17 percent to close at $11.10. Shares hit their 52-week high of $20.25 a year ago, and they're up almost 45 percent from their 52-week low, hit March 7. The District-based company gets more than 30 percent of its revenue through one contract to resell Defense Department items that are no longer used - that contract expires this month, and Liquidity Services is bidding for the new one.
*Celsion shares (CLN) gained 16 percent last week, closing at $4.46 - but they're still down 27 percent over the past three months. Shares of the Columbia firm hit their 52-week low of $2.80 in January, before its announcement of Food and Drug Administration approval of ThermoDox testing.
*Barracuda Networks' offer of $7.50 a share for Sourcefire of Columbia (FIRE) was announced late Thursday, a day shares closed at $6.63. On Friday, they gained 15 percent, closing at $7.64 - also a 15 percent gain for the week. The software firm rejected the offer, saying, "The Board believes that the proposal substantially undervalues Sourcefire."
*Trex (TWP) was the biggest loser on our list last week, with shares down 17 percent, after being the biggest gainer the previous week, up 28 percent. Shares are still higher than they were before all that movement - they closed Friday at $11.20 compared with a May 16 close of $10.58.
*Severn Bancorp (SVBI) and Alliance Bankshares (ABVA) both fell 9 percent last week. Annapolis-based Severn Bancorp shares closd at $7.56, and Chantilly-based Alliance shares at $4.39.
*Universal Security Instruments (UUU) of Owings Mills is the top loser of the past 52 weeks, with shares down 80 percent in that period. They closed at $6.30 on Friday. A Canadian unit that Universal Security Instruments acquired in 2006 ceased operations in February. The maker of fire and smoke alarms' chief executive said in an August letter to shareholders that it implemented a strategy to deal with the softer housing market, and the Canadian business was part of that strategy.
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