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posted a rise in third-quarter earnings after the market close Monday.

The Wilmington, Del.-based chemicals maker reported net income of $34.2 million, or 31 cents a share, up from the $24 million, or 22 cents a share, it reported in the third quarter of 2005.

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Net sales were $513.1 million, a 1% decrease from the $519.6 million it generated in the same period last year. Excluding the impact of the sale of Hercules' majority interest in FiberVisions, sales increased 14% from the same period of last year.

Analysts were expecting 30 cents a share in earnings on $482.8 million in revenue, according to the Thomson First Call average.

"We remain confident in our growth strategy and optimistic about both earnings and cash flow growth for the balance of the year and as we look to 2007," CEO Craig Rogerson said.