Updated from 11:50 a.m. EDTShares of Robert Half International ( RHI) were among the NYSE's winners Friday after the company posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and sales and boosted its third-quarter outlook. The specialized staffing company earned 18 cents a share on sales of $641.2 million during the second quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had expected it to earn 11 cents a share on sales of $592 million. Earnings were bolstered by strength in the company's Protiviti subsidiary. Looking ahead, it now expects to post a third-quarter profit of 19 cents to 21 cents a share on sales of $650 million to $670 million. Analysts are looking for 13 cents a share on sales of $611.6 million. Shares of Robert Half traded up $2.34, or 9%, to $28.46. Ferro ( FOE) fell after it warned that it would miss second-quarter earnings expectations because of inappropriate accounting entries and poor performance in its polymer additives business. The accounting entries were unearthed by an investigation launched by the company. The industrial chemicals company said that it has corrected the accounting but will take a 10-cent charge as a result of the accounting change. As a result of the weak performance and accounting adjustment, it now expects to post a second-quarter profit of 12 cents a share. Analysts had expected it to earn 35 cents a share. Shares of Ferro traded down $4, or 16.2%, to $20.68. Shares of Mettler-Toledo International ( MTD) fell after the company said that its audit committee is investigating allegations received from an employee. The precision instruments supplier said that it couldn't say whether the outcome of the investigation would result in a restatement of previously filed financial statements. In light of the internal investigation, the company was unable to release its full earnings report late Thursday. Instead, it released sales and debt information. During the second quarter it posted sales of $344.5 million. Analysts had expected it to report sales of $343.4 million. Shares of Mettler-Toledo traded down $4.30, or 9.5%, to $41.
Insurance Auto Auctions ( IAAI) rose after it reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and sales. The automotive salvage and claims processing company earned 22 cents a share on sales of $60 million. Analysts had expected it to earn 20 cents a share on sales of $55.5 million. Looking ahead, it expects to post a full-year profit of 75 cents to 80 cents a share. Analysts were looking for it to earn 72 cents a share. Shares of Insurance Auto Auctions traded up $1.13, or 7.4%, to $16.43. Shares of Cummins ( CMI) rose after the company posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and sales and said third-quarter earnings would be ahead of expectations. The engine manufacturing company posted second-quarter earnings of $1.76 a share on sales of $2.12 billion. Analysts had expected it to earn $1.34 a share on sales of $1.81 billion. Looking ahead, it forecast a third-quarter profit of $1.30 to $1.40 a share vs. analysts' expectations of $1.24 a share. For the full year it now expects to earn $5.55 to $5.75 a share, up significantly from its previous forecast of $4.40 to $4.60 a share. Shares of Cummins traded up $2.89, or 4.7%, to $64.90. NYSE volume leaders included Coca Cola ( KO), down $3.83 to $45.14; Lucent ( LU), up 2 cents to $3.31; Time Warner ( TWX), down 28 cents to $16.94; Boston Scientific ( BSX), up 32 cents to $33.59; Taiwan Semiconductor ( TSM), down 49 cents to $6.72; and SBC Communications ( SBC), up 64 cents to $24.22. Nasdaq volume leaders included Microsoft ( MSFT), down 97 cents to $28.03; Intel ( INTC), down 60 cents to $22.67; Cisco ( CSCO), down 46 cents to $20.93; Oracle ( ORCL), down 26 cents to $10.10; Amazon.com ( AMZN), down $5.84 to $39.98; Conexant ( CNXT), down 19 cents to $1.98; and Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 11 cents to $3.69.