Shares of

Harvest Natural Resources

(HNR)

were among the

NYSE's

losers Monday, falling 18% after the company said its subsidiary received an $85 million Venezuelan income tax assessment.

The subsidiary, Harvest Vinccler, is 80% owned by Harvest Natural Resources. In addition to the tax assessment, SENIAT, the Venezuelan income tax authority, also imposed a 10% penalty on the preliminary tax assessment, bringing the total income tax bill to about $94 million. "The company is in the process of reviewing the assessment, but believes HVCA has met its tax obligations in all material respects," the company said.

Harvest Natural plans to challenge all elements of the assessment, it said, that are not supported by Venezuelan law. The company can delay the income tax payment by filing an answer with the tax authority. SENIAT is required to respond to the answer within one year of receiving it. Shares of Harvest Natural were recently trading down $2.02 to $8.94.

World Acceptance

(WRLD) - Get Report

fell 18% after the consumer finance company posted first-quarter earnings that fell below expectations. The company earned $7.3 million, or 38 cents a share, on sales of $51.8 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 41 cents a share. A year ago the company earned $7.3 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $47.5 million. World Acceptance blamed the earnings shortfall on slower loan growth, which caused revenue growth to be slower than normal. Shares were trading down $5.88 to $26.21.

Shares of

Ashland

(ASH) - Get Report

rose 3% after the chemical and transportation construction firm posted third-quarter results that were better than expected. The company reported earnings of $1.77 billion, or $23.65 a share, on sales of $2.82 billion. Excluding a one-time gain, the company would have earned $231 million, or $3.09 a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of $2.13 a share. A year ago the company earned $161 million, or $2.26 a share, on sales of $2.44 billion. Shares were trading up $1.65 to $63.64.

Pilgrim's Pride

(PPC) - Get Report

rose 3% after the poultry company reported third-quarter earnings that topped forecasts. The company earned $85.4 million, or $1.28 a share, on sales of $1.44 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.20 a share on sales of $1.47 billion. A year ago the company earned $9.8 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $1.45 billion. The year-ago period included charges totaling $39.6 million, or 60 cents a share.

Looking ahead, Pilgrim's Pride now expects fourth-quarter earnings of 90 cents to $1 a share, up from previous guidance of 73 cents to 91 cents a share. Analysts are expecting earnings of 92 cents a share on sales of $1.5 billion. Shares were trading up $1.25 to $38.10.

Shares of

Smith International

( SII) traded actively after the company posted second-quarter results. The oil services company reported earnings of $68.1 million, or 67 cents a share, on sales of $1.35 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 65 cents a share on sales of $1.29 billion. A year ago the company earned $27.5 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $1.06 billion. Year-ago results included a charge of 20 cents a share, which was related to a patent infringement suit.

Looking ahead, Smith International now expects 2005 earnings of $1.40 to $1.45 a share, which reflects a 2-for-1 stock split announced July 21. On a pre-split basis, the company expects earnings of $2.80 to $2.90 a share. Previously, the company said that it would earn $2.65 to $2.75 a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $2.77 a share. Shares, which had climbed by more than 20% over the past two months, were recently trading down 93 cents to $68.61.

NYSE volume leaders included

Motorola

( MOT), up 66 cents to $20.66;

Lucent Technologies

( LU), up 3 cents to $2.88;

Xerox

(XRX) - Get Report

, down 92 cents to $13.13;

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

, down 27 cents to $15.29;

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, up 1 cent to $26.51;

Haliburton

(HAL) - Get Report

, up $2.41 to $55.70;

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

, up 87 cents to $60.37;

EMC

(EMC)

, down 26 cents to $14.23; and

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

, down 4 cents to $35.03.

Nasdaq

volume leaders included

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, up 13 cents to $25.81;

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

, up 1 cent to $3.89;

Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

, up 7 cents to $7;

Teva

(TEVA) - Get Report

, up 46 cents to $31.62;

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, up 6 cents to $26.81;

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

, down 14 cents to $19.18;

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

, up 52 cents to $41.54;

Synergx

( SYNX), up $2.66 to $5.78; and

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

, up 28 cents to $33.81.