Major stock benchmarks fell on Monday as corporate earnings season continued, led by a steep pullback in the technology sector.

But positive earnings news helped individual stocks march higher, including Myers Industries (NYSE:MYE), Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH), and Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE:AMG). Read on to learn why.

Businesswoman drawing a chart indicating steep gains

Image source: Getty Images.

Myers Industries' bottom-line beat

Shares of Myers Industries popped 15.6% after the tire equipment and polymer products leader delivered stronger-than-expected second-quarter 2018 earnings. Quarterly net sales grew 3.9% year over year to $140.6 million, which translated to adjusted (non-GAAP) net income from continuing operations of $9.1 million, or $0.27 per share. Analysts, on average, were looking for lower earnings of $0.25 per share, albeit on revenue of $144.3 million. 

"We are pleased with the continued improvement in our business during the second quarter," stated CEO Dave Banyard. "Our focus on niche market strategies drove double-digit sales growth across three of our key end markets, including consumer, vehicle, and food and beverage."

Banyard credited Myers' bottom-line improvement to the impacts of recent pricing and operational-improvement initiatives.

Sonic Automotive rebounds

Sonic Automotive stock climbed 8.1% as investors absorbed the implications of the automotive retailer's actual second-quarter results. For perspective, Sonic shares initially spiked as much as 7% early Friday after its quarterly report hit the wires, but ultimately settled to close up just 2.5% to end last week.

So why the delayed optimism? For one, Sonic stock had fallen more than 10% since July 17, when the company released underwhelming preliminary results due to lower manufacturer-to-dealer incentives on certain new vehicle models. As such, Sonic predicted adjusted earnings from continuing operations would be in the range of $0.32 to $0.36 per share. 

But when all was said and done, Sonic's adjusted profit arrived at $14.8 million, or $0.35 per share -- near the high end of that preliminary range.

Still, CFO Heath Byrd admitted the second quarter fell short of expectations, and further noted that the aforementioned headwinds will likely persist into the third quarter. 

In the meantime, Sonic expects full-year earnings per share from continuing operations in the range of $1.90 to $2.00, the midpoint of which sits slightly above consensus estimates for $1.93.

AMG endures mixed equity markets

Finally, shares of Affiliated Managers Group climbed 5.1% in the wake of the investment management company's second-quarter earnings beat. Quarterly revenue climbed 5.1% year over year to $600.1 million, which translated to 8% growth in adjusted net income to $195.6 million, or $3.61 per share. Analysts, on average, were only looking for earnings of $3.59 per share on revenue of $604.6 million. 

"Against the backdrop of of mixed global equity markets, AMG generated strong results for the second quarter," added CEO Nathaniel Dalton. "Our results reflect the diversity and scale of our global business and the quality of our Affiliates' distinctive return streams across a broad array of alpha-oriented areas."

Given its reasonably solid quarter and with AMG shares already down more than 30% from their 52-week high set in late January, it's no surprise to see the stock rebounding today.

Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Affiliated Managers Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.