San Antonio-based Harte-Hanks ( HHS) said its first-quarter earnings fell 5.1% from a year ago The direct marketing company earned $23.8 million, or 29 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $25.1 million, or 29 cents a share, a year ago. The earnings included stock options expense of a penny a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 30 cents a share in the most recent quarter. First-quarter revenue increased 3.8% to $278.4 million as against analysts' estimate of $285.4 million. Sales from direct marketing segment fell 3.4% to $164.3 million. In the prevous year, the company benefited from a large project. Revenue from shoppers' segment rose 16.1% to $114.1 million, thanks to the Tampa acquisition. Operating profit fell 6.5% to $39.6 million and operating profit margin declined 160 basis points to 14.2% in the most recent quarter. "We were able to achieve the same level of earnings per share this quarter as we delivered in last year's first quarter, despite the difficult comparisons we faced and the inclusion of stock-based compensation expense in this year's first quarter," the company said. The company's shares were trading at $26.54, down 15 cents, or 0.6% Wednesday.