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Ex-Dividend Stocks: Valero Energy, Mattel

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The toy company reported first-quarter earnings on April 16 of $7.8 million, or 2 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $16.6 million, or 5 cents a share.

"March/YTD 2012 U.S. NPD retail dollar sales +0.3%/2.6% versus 21.2%/ 7.9%," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in an April 26 report. "March YTD 2012 U.S. retail category trends remain more favorable for MAT. Weakness for HAS remains in Games/Puzzles (and more so Puzzles), Action Figures, and Dolls/Plush. We believe international sellthrough (not tracked) will continue to be stronger for both companies in 2012 against a backdrop of global retail inventories remaining in good shape (MAT likely better relative to HAS). Note: February 2012 retail dollar sales revised upward from 7.1% to 5.8% and 2011 remains unchanged. Bottom Line: We continue to favor MAT relative to HAS."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.8%


The food products company reported on May 8 first-quarter net income excluding special items of $11.4 million, or 17 cents a share, compared with year-earlier earnings of $11.8 million, or 17 cents a share.

"The Snyder's merger and its strategic opportunities remain the focus," Canaccord analysts wrote in a May 9 report. "We maintain our HOLD rating until cost synergies are more fully realized and the profit visibility improves."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.4%

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