Dynex Capital Inc., a Southern Virginia real estate finance company, escaped from penny-stock territory last week by executing a 1-for-4 reverse stock split and got a bonus from the stock market for its effort.

Dynex shares had been trading at slightly more than $2 each before the split, which turned it into an $8 stock and reduced the number of shares to 11.5 million from 46 million.

After the transaction was completed last Monday, Dynex's trading volume doubled and the price jumped 20 percent. Most investors shy away from penny stocks, which regulators now decree to be shares trading for less than $5. At $8, Dynex became a more respectable investment and one of the few big winners last week. By week's end, the price had climbed to $12.62 1/2.

Shares of Integral Systems Inc. of Lanham, which has made ground systems for satellites an off-the-shelf product rather than a custom job, reported higher earnings last week, which sent its stock higher.

Information Resources Engineering Inc. of Baltimore, a network security firm, reported its earnings the previous week, but got a belated boost in its stock price on Friday. The stock jumped 18 percent Friday to $21, an increase of $3.12 1/2. For the week, the stock price was up 20 percent.

Most market indicators staged a modest rally Friday, allowing them to recoup some of their losses from earlier in the week, but not The Washington Post-Bloomberg regional stock index. The index, which dropped each day, lost 3 percent for the week and closed at 167.84. The index was at its lowest level since mid-June and has given back all the gains it had attained during a July rally.

America Online Inc. of Dulles, meanwhile, avoided making the list of the week's worst performers. Its stock was down almost $12 for the week as of Thursday, but inched back up 81 1/4 cents a share to close Friday at $84.75, down $10.37 for the week.

Online education company UOL Publishing Inc., the low-priced stock of which is driven up and down regularly by the whims of traders, suffered the worst loss for the week among stocks trading for more than $3. It fell $1.50 a share to $4, a 28 percent drop.