Shares of Helen of Troy ( HELE) were among Nasdaq's losers Tuesday, falling 17% after the personal care products company posted second-quarter results that fell below Wall Street expectations. The company reported earnings of $9.5 million, or 30 cents a share, on sales of $130.4 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 52 cents a share on sales of $142.2 million. A year ago the company earned $18.8 million, or 57 cents a share, on sales of $141.2 million. Helen of Troy said that declining consumer confidence and higher oil and energy costs hurt its most recent results. "Challenging and difficult economic conditions in our market place have prevailed over the past few quarters," the company said. "We believe this environment may continue into the second half of our current fiscal year." Looking ahead, Helen of Troy now expects fiscal 2006 earnings of $1.80 to $1.90 a share on sales of $575 million to $590 million. Previously, the company said it would earn $2.50 to $2.60 a share on sales of $615 million to $640 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $2.38 a share on sales of $624 million. Shares were trading down $3.38 to $16.32. International Rectifier ( IRF) fell 9% after the company cut its first-quarter sales and margin forecasts. The industrial supplier now expects sales of about $273 million, down about 3% from the $281.8 million it reported a quarter ago. Gross margin is now expected to come in at about 40.5%, down 300 basis points from last quarter. Previously, the company said it would post sales that would be flat to up 4% on gross margin that would be flat to down 200 basis points. Adjusted earnings are expected to be 40 cents to 42 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 51 cents a share on sales of $288.1 million. "Although demand for our Focus products exceeded expectations in the September quarter, a large percentage of the orders came late in the quarter and the product mix was different than what was forecasted," the company said. Shares were trading down $3.80 to $36.90.