While we're still waiting for personal care products company Helen of Troy (NASDAQ:HELE) to sell its money-eating Tactica division, investors are seemingly treating the company as if the deal is done. While the company's stock fell slightly after it announced plans for the sale in early October, they've since recovered -- and strong operating results may take them even higher.

Today, the Texas-based company reported fiscal Q3 (ended Nov. 30) financial results -- no balance sheet or cash flow statement, unfortunately -- that showed sales rising across the board (except at Tactica). Year-to-date revenues, gross margins, and operating margins are all up for the quarter.

But Tactica continues to be a drag. The company would like investors to treat the division more or less as a discontinued operation and concentrate on the numbers sans Tactica, but you'd be better off not doing so -- there's no guarantee of a sale any time soon. What's more, given Tactica's poor performance, one wonders how financially beneficial such a transaction might be.

Even so, a sale is almost certainly the right option. Tactica's direct response business doesn't seem a good fit at the company better known for its hair dryers, brushes, mirrors, and products bearing brands licensed from such companies as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Revlon (NYSE:REV), Schering-Plough (NYSE:SGP).

Tactica's losses are significant, and they're a drag on a company that's otherwise performing well. Helen of Troy just raised forward earnings guidance for the balance of this fiscal year and the year to come. No wonder the shares jumped more than 15% in early trading today.

Fools are talking about Helen of Troy, Tactica, and more on our Helen of Troy discussion board.

Dave Marino-Nachison can be reached at dmarnach@fool.com.