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Following are the 17 small cap companies which have seen a positive shift in analyst sentiments in last 1 month and have received 2 or more analyst upgrades:

Tkr

Company Name

Market Cap (mil)

No. of analyst upgrades in last 1 month

CKEC

CARMIKE CINEMAS

94.79

2

UDRL

UNION DRILLING

242.72

2

HOTT

HOT TOPIC

247.9

2

BRNC

BRONCO DRILLING

301.82

2

SONC

SONIC CORP

552.94

2

MIPS

MIPS TECHNOLOG

587.35

2

BPZ

BPZ RESOURCES IN

604

2

ABFS

ARKANSAS BEST CO

633.47

2

SSI

STAGE STORES

689.9

2

SKYW

SKYWEST INC

908.16

2

OXPS

OPTIONS XPRESS

1040.93

3

ENP

ENCORE ENERGY PA

1051.93

2

SSW

SEASPAN CORP

1218.35

3

MDC

MDC HOLDINGS

1222.1

2

PLCE

CHILDERN’S PLACE

1287.83

3

EXH

EXTERRAN HLDGS

1522.43

2

FMER

FIRSTMERIT CP

1847.99

2


Here are some of the specifics about these companies, including a brief description of their business, growth rates (topline and bottomline) and Valuation:

Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (NASDAQ:CKEC) is a motion picture exhibitor in the United States. As of December 31, 2009, the Company owned, operated or had an interest in 244 theatres with 2,277 screens located in 35 states. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 0.33 and next year is 0.63. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 4.23% current year and 4.18% next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 11.29. Out of 11 analysts covering the company, 5 are positive and have a buy recommendation and six have hold ratings.

Union Drilling, Inc. (NASDAQ:UDRL) provides contract land drilling services and equipment, primarily to natural gas producers. In addition to the Company’s drilling rigs, it provides the drilling crews and most of the ancillary equipment needed to operate its drilling rigs. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 0.02, and next year is 0.23. According to the consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 31.93% current year and 9.98% next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 45.19. Out of 8 analysts covering the company, 3 are positive and have buy recommendations and five have hold ratings.

Hot Topic, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOTT) is a mall and Web-based specialty retailer operating the Hot Topic and Torrid concepts, as well as the e-space music concept, ShockHound. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 0.13 and next year is 0.19. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to decline 2.29% current year and 3.14% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 29.04. Out of 9 analysts covering the company, 1 is positive and has a buy recommendation, one has a sell recommendation and seven have hold ratings.

Bronco Drilling Company, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRNC) provides contract land drilling and workover services to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies throughout the United States. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 0.17, and next year is 0.39. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 17.53% current year and 10.11% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 26.64. Out of 8 analysts covering the company, 3 are positive and have buy recommendations and five have hold ratings.

Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC) operates and franchises a chain of drive-in restaurants (Sonic Drive-Ins) in the United States. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 0.51 and next year is 0.6. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to decline 1.62% current year and 2.52% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 14.83. Out of 17 analysts covering the company, 5 are positive and have buy recommendations, three have sell recommendations and nine have hold ratings.

MIPS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIPS) is a provider of processor architectures and cores that power some of the home entertainment, communications, networking and portable multimedia products. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 0.51 and next year is 0.57. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 22.91% current year and 10.04% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 19.72. Out of 5 analysts covering the company, 4 are positive and have buy recommendations and one has a sell recommendation.

BPZ Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BPZ) is an independent oil and gas company focused on the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in Peru and Ecuador. Its EPS forecast for the current year is -0.17 and next year is 0.28. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 20.88% current year and 74.18% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 18.64. Out of 10 analysts covering the company, 7 are positive and have buy recommendations and three have hold ratings.

Arkansas Best Corporation (ABFS) is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in motor carrier freight transportation. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 0.56 and next year is 1.51. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 11.68% current year and 7.64% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 16.55. Out of 18 analysts covering the company, 4 are positive and have buy recommendations, three have sell recommendations and eleven have hold ratings.

Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE:SSI) is a specialty department store retailer offering brand name and private label apparel, accessories, cosmetics and footwear. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 1.17 and next year is 1.42. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 4.34% current year and 4.4% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 13.31. Out of 4 analysts covering the company, 2 are positive and have buy recommendations and two have hold ratings.

SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW) through its wholly owned subsidiaries, SkyWest Airlines, Inc. and Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc. offers scheduled passenger services with approximately 2,300 daily departures to 217 destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 1.53 and next year is 2.1. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 33.01% current year and 2.33% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 8.03. Out of 5 analysts covering the company, 3 are positive and have buy recommendations, one has a sell recommendation and one has a hold rating.

optionsXpress Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:OXPS) operates through two segments: brokerage services and education services. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 0.96 and next year is 1.15. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 6.35% current year and 10.57% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 15.72. Out of 10 analysts covering the company, 1 is positive and has a buy recommendation, three have sell recommendation and six have hold ratings.

Encore Energy Partners LP (NYSE:ENP) was formed by Encore Acquisition Company (NASDAQ:EAC) to acquire, exploit, and develop oil and natural gas properties and to acquire, own, and operate related assets. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 1.39 and next year is 1.34. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 6.37% current year and 1.29% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 17.33. Out of 5 analysts covering the company, two have sell recommendations and three have hold ratings.

Seaspan Corporation (NYSE:SSW) is engaged in the business of owning container ships, charters them pursuant to long-term, fixed-rate charters and seeks additional accretive vessel acquisitions over the mid to long-term. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 1.53 and next year is 1.96. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 37.63% current year and 22.63% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 9.08. Out of 9 analysts covering the company, 7 are positive and have buy recommendations, and two have hold ratings.

M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:MDC) is a United States-based company. It operates in two business segments: homebuilding and financial services. Its EPS forecast for the current year is -0.7 and next year is 0.62. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 12.13% current year and 24.11% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 41.81. Out of 15 analysts covering the company, 3 are positive and have buy recommendations, two have sell recommendations and ten have hold ratings.

The Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLCE) is a pure-play children's specialty apparel retailer in North America. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 3.28 and next year is 3.91. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 5.65% current year and 7.2% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 12.69. Out of 15 analysts covering the company, 9 are positive and have buy recommendations, one has sell a recommendation and five have hold ratings.

Exterran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:EXH) is engaged in natural gas compression business. The Company provides operations, maintenance, service and equipment for oil and natural gas production, processing and transportation applications. Its EPS forecast for the current year is -1.01 and next year is 0.05. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 4.82% current year and 8.65% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 481.6. Out of 10 analysts covering the company, 2 are positive and have buy recommendations, one has a sell recommendation and seven have hold ratings.

FirstMerit Corporation (NASDAQ:FMER) is a bank holding company. FirstMerit’s business consists of owning and supervising its affiliates. Its EPS forecast for the current year is 1.09 and next year is 1.36. According to consensus estimates, its topline is expected to grow 5.22% current year and 3.76% in the next year. It is trading at a forward P/E of 12.47. Out of 15 analysts covering the company, 6 are positive and have buy recommendations, one has a sell recommendation and eight have hold ratings.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 17 Small Caps With 2 or More Analyst Upgrades in the Last Month