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Small caps

Today's small-cap stocks to watch Add to ...

Here are Canadian small cap stocks either moving on news today or worth watching.

Embattled Silvercorp Metals Inc., a silver producer with operations in China, lost early gains that saw it touch $7.17 amid news that it has filed a lawsuit in New York against short-sellers who have issued reports accusing it of fraud. Silvercorp is slated to hold its annual meeting at 10 a.m. in Vancouver. The company's shares have fallen nearly 20 per cent in the last month or so on anonymous allegations of fraud.

There may be some interest in specialty chip maker Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. in terms of seeing if there is any more upside to the stock after the company accepted a sweetened deal worth $3.98 per share or $632-million from U.S.-based Microsemi Corp.

Bioniche Life Sciences Inc., a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company that saw its shares close Thursday at a year-low 60 cents, provided shareholders with a corporate update on a conference call and webcast last evening. The purpose of the call was to discuss the company's year-end financial results, specify its priorities and outline its plan to achieve profitability.

Radiant Investment Management Ltd. announced that on Sept. 22, 2011, it acquired, on behalf of certain funds managed by Radiant, 524,500 common shares of takeover target Afexa Life Sciences Inc. Immediately after this acquisition, Radiant owns, or exercises control or direction over, on behalf of the Radiant Funds, an aggregate of 5,600,000 shares representing approximately 5.43 per cent of the issued and outstanding shares of Afexa, which had been trading at year highs. Paladin Labs Inc. in recent days said it was preparing an “enhanced bid” intended to trump a rival bid for the over-the-counter drug maker.

Atlanta Gold Inc., which had been trading near a year-low 6 cents, announced that its ongoing drill program at its Atlanta Project has intersected a new zone of strongly altered and mineralized material to the northeast of the existing Monarch zone. Highlights include: hole D11005W35 with 44.983 grams per tonne (gpt) Au over 1.1 metres and 5.623 gpt Au over 5.4 metres (including 15.29 gpt Au over 1.5 metres); and hole D11005W37 with 18.627 gpt Au over 7.6 metres (including 62.97 gpt Au over 1.5 metres and 3.531 gpt Au over 1.5 metres).

Stantec Inc. recovered from early losses on the Toronto Stock Exchange and in the United States and was up by as much as 3 per cent after announcing that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Lexington, Ky.-based ENTRAN. Scott Murray, Stantec senior vice-president of its U.S. East operations, reportedly said, “The addition of ENTRAN will augment Stantec's transportation practice in the U.S. Southeast and Midwest and expands our aviation services into new markets.”

Junior oil and gas company Strategic Oil & Gas Ltd. is lower and easily the most active on the TSXV early Friday after saying its CFO Jim Screaton has resigned to pursue other opportunities.

U.S. Gold Corporation and Minera Andes Inc. announced that they have entered into an arrangement agreement dated Sept. 22, 2011, pursuant to which U.S. Gold and Minera Andes will combine to form McEwen Mining. UXG has hit new year lows today, while Minera is also lower.

YM BioSciences a drug development company, today reported it lost 9 cents a share, excluding certain items, in the fourth quarter. Two analysts in a Bloomberg survey had reportedly estimated losses of 7 cents a share and 8 cents a share, respectively. It had a net loss of $31.2-million or 32 cents per share for fiscal 2011 after revenue dropped and expenses increased. Overall expenses totalled $31.6-million, up from $23.2-million while annual revenue fell to $1.5-million from $2.7-million.

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