Goodyear to Cut 5,000 More Jobs; Reports $330 Million Fourth-Quarter Loss

Goodyear Tire & Rubber

(GT) - Get Report

said Wednesday that it swung to a fourth-quarter loss, amid sluggish sales and rising raw materials costs.

The company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter net loss of $330 million, or $1.37 a share, compared with net income of $52 million, or 23 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Total revenue for the quarter declined 20% to $4.14 billion, while tire volume dropped by 19%.

On average, analysts expected a fourth-quarter loss of $1.02 per share on revenue of $4.39 billion.

Amid the recent auto industry meltdown, sales of Goodyear tires in North America fell 15% from the year-ago period, while European sales fell even more sharply, decreasing by 26%.

Goodyear disclosed further cost-cutting plans during the report, saying it planned to reduce costs by $700 million in 2009. Initiatives designed to accomplish this include cutting 5,000 additional jobs, freezing salaries, cutting inventory levels, reducing capital expenditures and pursuing asset sales.

Goodyear stock has fallen over 70% since early September.

Shares of Goodyear are way off of May 2007 highs of $35 a share. The stock has all-time technical support at $4 a share. If the shares can rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $10 to $11 price levels. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but we do follow the headlines of this well-known tire company.

Goodyear Tire does not currently pay a dividend.

Sherwin Williams Raises Dividend Payout

Shares of

Sherwin Williams

(SHW) - Get Report

are flat today, after the company's board of directors announced an increase in their quarterly dividend from 35 cents per common share to 35.5 cents per common share, payable on March 13 to shareholders of record on Feb. 27.

This increase follows 30 consecutive years of dividend increases.

We had removed shares of Sherwin Williams from our "Recommended" list on Jan. 14, when the stock traded at $58.65. The company has a 3.10% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $45.88.

The stock has technical support in the $43 to $44 price range. If that fails to hold, we could see the $34 level come into play. If the shares can rally, we see overhead resistance around the $50 level. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

Sherwin Williams is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars.

Host Hotels to Suspend Dividend in 2009

Host Hotels & Resorts

(HST) - Get Report

said Tuesday that it will suspend its quarterly dividend payouts for 2009 after reporting fourth-quarter funds from operations, or FFO, fell 29% from the year-ago period.

The company said that fourth-quarter FFO fell to 53 cents per share, from 75 cents per share a year earlier. Net profit for the quarter fell to $122 million, or 23 cents per share, from $294 million, or 54 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Host Hotels also disclosed that revenue per available room ("revpar") fell 9.4% from the previous year.

The company said it plans to suspend its dividend for 2009 as part of attempts to preserve capital. The hotel operator expects funds from operations for 2009 to fall to between 79 cents and 91 cents per share, and that its net loss per share would be in a range of 13 cents to 26 cents per share.

We will be dropping our ratings coverage of Host Hotels after today. The stock is way off of January 2007 highs of $27 a share. The stock is approaching all-time technical lows of $1.50 a share. If the shares can stabilize, we see overhead resistance around the $8 price area. We would look elsewhere for better investment opportunities at this time.

Host Hotels & Resorts is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Comcast Fourth-Quarter Profit Falls 32% on Writedown, Raises Dividend

Comcast

(CMCSA) - Get Report

said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit fell 32% year-over-year on a $600 million writedown related to a reduced value of its investment in wireless company Cleamax.

The Philadelphia-based company, which is the largest cable television provider in the U.S., said that it earned $412 million -- or 14 cents a share in the fourth quarter -- compared with $602 million, or 20 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 9% to $8.77 billion, and excluding special items, the company would have earned $790 million, or 27 cents per share in the quarter. On average, analysts had been expecting profit of 22 cents per share on revenue of $8.62 billion.

The cable giant said it lost 233,000 basic video subscribers during the quarter, but added 247,000 digital video customers and 184,000 high speed Internet subscribers.

Comcast also announced plans to raise its dividend by 8%, to 27 cents per share annually.

We have avoided shares of CMCSA since our early June coverage began, when the stock was trading at $21.94. The company will now have a dividend yield of 2.09% after the dividend increase, and based on last night's closing stock price of $12.89.

The stock has technical support around the $9 level. If that fails to hold, we could test the $5 range. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $16 to $18 price point. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

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

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system.

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.