Charles River Associates (NASDAQ:CRAI) reported Thursday weaker third-quarter earnings from a year ago, though improved margins still led it to raise cash and bulk its stock repurchase program.

Net income for the quarter ended Sept. 3 was $2.1 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with $2.6 million, or 24 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue for the Boston-based company was $84.6 million, down from $89.3 million a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported earnings of 30 cents and revenue of $82.4 million, matching average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll of 30 cents, and missing their view of $84.20 million, respectively.

“Our third-quarter results built upon the momentum we began to see in the second quarter of this year and reflect additional progress in reaching our goals for this fiscal year,” said CRA CEO Paul Maleh. “The highlight of our third-quarter financial results was our margin improvement, which drove increased profitability.”

A comprehensive series of restructuring initiatives implemented over the last two years has “streamlined” the organization, allowing it to focus resources on growth and expense management, he said.

The provider of management, economic and financial consulting said cash flow from operations achieved last quarter of $12 million enabled it to spend some $4 million on its ongoing stock buyback program and another $7 million on cash growth and short-term investments.