Among the earnings stories for Wednesday, Oct. 21, from AP Financial News: NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Biotechnology company Amgen Inc. said lower costs in its research and sales units pushed up third-quarter profit 24 percent, despite a continued downturn in anemia drug sales. LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) ¿ Pactiv Corp., which makes Hefty garbage bags and packaging materials, said that its third-quarter profit rose 64 percent to $87 million even as sales declined 9 percent. BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (AP) ¿ Retailer Tractor Supply Co. said its third-quarter profit rose 39 percent as sales increased slightly and it improved its gross margin. MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) ¿ Robert Half International Inc. said its third-quarter profit fell 86 percent, though the staffing services company still beat Wall Street estimates. PHOENIX (AP) ¿ Knight Transportation Inc. said its third-quarter profit fell 18 percent as weak consumer spending continues to hurt freight markets, and the trucking firm warned that demand isn't picking up fast enough to support price increases.
BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) ¿ Robot maker iRobot Corp. said its third-quarter profit declined as revenue fell, but the results beat Wall Street's expectations. ATLANTA (AP) ¿ AirTran Airways' financial results are benefiting from the discount carrier's low costs and laser focus on domestic routes where it believes it can make money. The airline actually is looking to grow in 2010 when other major carriers have more conservative plans. SAN ANTONIO (AP) ¿ Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc. said its third-quarter profit fell about 9 percent as charge-offs and money set aside for defaulted loans remained high. PARSIPPANY, N.J. (AP) ¿ Chemical and industrial products company GenTek Inc. said its third-quarter profit grew, boosted by strong results in its performance chemicals segment.