Anadarko Petroleum Posts $338 Million Loss

Oil producer

Anadarko Petroleum

(APC) - Get Report

said late Wednesday that it lost $338 million in the first quarter, hurt by lower oil and natural gas demand and prices.

The Woodlands, Texas-based company reported a first-quarter net loss of $338 million, or 73 cents per share, compared with a profit of $286 million, or 60 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, the quarterly loss came to $242 million, or 53 cents per share.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a loss of 62 cents a share, excluding items.

Revenue tumbled 46% to $1.6 billion from $3 billion in the same period last year.

The company said that the price it got for natural gas fell to $3.26 per thousand cubic feet in the latest quarter, compared with $6.17 in the year-ago period, while the price it received per barrel of oil fell to $40.06 from $78.21.

Anadarko shares rose $1.64, or +3.4%, in morning trading Thursday.

We removed shares of APC from our "Recommended" list back on July 23, when the stock was trading at $62.84. The company has a dividend yield of .75%, based on last night's closing stock price of $48.26.

The stock has technical support in the $38-$42 price area. If the shares can continue the recent rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $54-$57 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS Rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars.

Watson Wyatt Shares Plummet on Lowered Outlook

Consulting firm

Watson Wyatt Worldwide

(WW) - Get Report

said Thursday that its fiscal third quarter per-share profit beat expectations, but its shares plunged after the company lowered its full-year outlook.

The Arlington-based company reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $40.6 million, or 95 cents per share, compared with $42.5 million, or 96 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue fell nearly 9% to $417.0 million from $457.5 million last year.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected earnings of 93 cents per share on revenue of $430.9 million.

To investors' dismay, Watson reduced both its fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year earnings guidance. For the fourth quarter, the company now expects EPS between 65 cents and 70 cents on revenue between $370 million and $390 million. Analysts expected 87 cents on $421.3 million in revenue.

For the full-year 2009, the company now expects EPS between $3.35 and $3.40 on revenue between $1.65 billion and $1.67 billion, while analysts expected $3.55 per share on revenue of $1.7 billion.

Watson Wyatt shares plummeted as much as 26% in early trading Thursday, but pared some of its losses to be down $7.20, or -14%, in late morning trading.

We removed shares of WW from our "Recommended" list back on Aug. 12, when the stock was trading at $59.80. The company has a .58% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $51.60.

The stock has technical support in the $33-$35 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $50-$53 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

Watson Wyatt Worldwide is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS Rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars.

News Corp. Profit Flat, Newspaper Ad Revenue Fading

Media superpower

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get Report

said late Wednesday that its fiscal third-quarter profit was mainly flat from a year-ago, as the company's cable network programming revenue helped offset its newspaper woes.

The New York City-based company reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $2.7 billion, or $1.04 per share, compared with $2.7 billion, or 92 cents per share, in the same period last year. Excluding special one-time items, the company's operating income fell 47% to $755 million.

Overall revenue declined 16% to $7.4 billion, compared with $8.8 billion in the year-ago period.

News Corp. said that its newspapers and information systems unit saw a 97% decline in operating income, and its television segment fell 99%. However, its Cable Network Programming unit, which includes FOX News Channel, almost doubled its operating income year over year, while Filmed Entertainment earnings jumped by 8%.

Majority owner Rupert Murdoch made some positive comments about the company's prospects, saying that "there are emerging signs in some of our businesses that the days of precipitous decline are done and that revenues are beginning to look healthier."

News shares rose 31 cents, or +3%, in late morning trading Thursday.

We avoided shares of NWS since our June coverage began, when the stock was trading at $17.97. The company has a dividend yield of 1.13%, based on last night's closing stock price of $10.65.

The stock has technical support in the $8 price area. If the shares can resume the recent uptrend, we see near-term overhead resistance around the $11-$13 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

News is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS Rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars.

Vale Profit Tumbles 33%

Iron ore producer

Companhia Vale do Rio Doce

(VALE) - Get Report

said late Wednesday that its first-quarter profit fell by nearly a third from the prior-year quarter.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company reported first-quarter net income $1.36 billion, or 26 cents per share, compared with $2.02 billion, or 41 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell almost 33% to $5.42 billion from $8.048 billion.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 39% to $2.28 billion in the quarter.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected earnings of $1.34 billion on revenue of EBITA of $2.45 billion.

The company said it slashed iron ore output by 10% in the quarter, reflecting lower demand. Due to the global economic recession, the clamor for its iron ore pellets, which are used to make steel, is rapidly dwindling.

Vale shares fell 73 cents, or -3.8%, in early afternoon trading Thursday.

We have avoided shares of VALE since our early June coverage began, when the shares were trading at $37.44. The company has a .89% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $19.04.

The stock has technical support in the $13-$15 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $21-$24 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

Companhia Vale do Rio Doce is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS Rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars.

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At the time of publication, the author had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Tom Reese and Paul Rubillo are senior editors of Dividend.com. Visit Dividend.com for more dividend stock ratings, picks, news, and analysis for long-term and income-seeking investors.