Revenue Rises at Ross Stores, Guidance Raised
reported a steady quarter as revenue rose 14% to $1.64 billion. The company pointed to dresses, accessories and shoes as the strongest merchandise areas, while the best-performing geographic markets were in Texas and the Mid-Atlantic.
Management believes it's prudent to remain defensively positioned based on the uncertain macroeconomic and retail environments, which will no longer have the benefit of the tax rebate checks to fall back on.
The company sees earnings for the year at $2.33 to $2.38 a share, above its previous forecast of $2.19 to $2.29. Analysts' earnings estimates are at $2.36 a share.
We like the shares of Ross Stores, but wouldn't be in any rush to chase the shares here. We think the company's discount stores are positioned well for this current economic environment. The company has a 0.99% dividend yield, based on Tuesday's closing stock price of $38.36.
Ross Stores is a recommended dividend stock, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars.
STMicroelectronics, Ericsson Form Chipset Tag Team
We are getting word that
will join their chip forces. The focus of the partnership will be on making chipsets for mobile phones.
The new division will have 8,000 employees and be based in Geneva. Both divisions last year combined for sales of $3.6 billion. The joint venture will have one of the industry's strongest product offerings in semiconductors and platforms for mobile applications.
We like the announcement and think the new division may eventually trade on its own one day, probably through an IPO. As far as STM and ERIC, we have avoided both companies as investments, and this news doesn't change our feelings on these two stocks now. STM has a dividend yield of 2.18% based on Tuesday's closing price of $11.90. ERIC has a dividend yield of 2.85% based on its closing price of $10.34. We prefer
as an investment in the wireless space.
STMicroelectronics isn't a recommended dividend stock at this time, holding a Dividend.com rating of 3.0 out of 5 stars. Ericcson also isn't a recommended dividend stock with a Dividend.com rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars.
American Woodmark Profit Declines 90%
is feeling the brunt of the recent consumer pain as the company reported a 90% drop in profit last quarter. The kitchen cabinet maker is pointing to the drop-off in homebuilding and remodeling, as well as consumers pinched by high energy costs.
The company's decline in gross profit margin is a reflection of the unfavorable impact of inefficiencies in overhead and freight costs stemming from lower sales volumes, as well as the impact of rising fuel prices on freight and raw materials costs.
This was probably the roughest quarter imaginable for American Woodmark. The company isn't recommended at this time, but we are playing any rebound in the housing and remodeling market through companies like
. American Woodmark has a 1.57% dividend yield based on Tuesday's closing stock price of $23.
American Woodmark (AMWD) isn't a recommended dividend stock, holding a Dividend.com rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars.
Analog Devices' Revenue Rises
, a maker of chips for cars, video game consoles, defense equipment, and mobile phone transmitters, reported a 7% rise in quarterly revenue. The company cited a well-balanced demand from the automotive, medical, and cell phone sector. The company's revenue exposure to the consumer market saw a 1% drop, as spending on digital cameras fell.
Analog Devices believes it's on track for a solid year, despite the challenging economy. However, the company's guidance for the next quarter is slightly below what analysts are expecting. The company sees earnings of 44 cents to 46 cents a share, while the consensus is at 46 cents.
We have avoided shares of Analog Devices here, but we will take another look if the stock recedes below $30. The company does have a dividend yield of 2.24%, based on Tuesday's closing price of $32.14. We prefer to have semiconductor exposure through a company such as
at this time.
Analog Devices isn't a recommended dividend stock at this time. It has a Dividend.com rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.
Hewlett-Packard Beats Earnings Estimates, Raises Guidance
delivered a solid quarter, and the company points to its laptop units as a big source of the gains. Sales of laptop computers rose 26% during the latest period to $5.35 billion. Total sales rose 10% to $28 billion.
An area of weakness for H-P appears to be in the company's printer and ink division, which provides more than a third of its total profits. The supplies portion of the division, and specifically ink sales, saved the numbers from being even worse.
Management expects earnings of $1.01 to $1.03 a share, above the $1 earnings estimate of analysts. H-P also forecast revenue of between $30.2 billion and $30.3 billion in the fourth quarter, above forecasts of $30.2 billion.
The company is trading at just 13 times this year's earnings estimates. We currently prefer
in this space, but we are certainly putting Hewlett-Packard on our upgrade watch list. The company has a 0.73% dividend yield based on Tuesday's closing stock price of $43.69.
Hewlett-Packard isn't a recommended dividend stock at this time, holding a Dividend.com rating of 3.4 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.