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Takeover Chances 'Slimmer' at New York Times?

The New York Times


has a new significant shareholder. Billionaire Carlos Slim now owns 9.1 million Class A shares of New York Times stock, according to a regulatory filing.

Class A stock is the publicly traded issue, entitling shareholders to vote for four board directors. The company has seen its share of private-equity investors taking stakes in it, such as Harbinger Capital Partners and Firebrand Partners. Control of the company belongs to the Ochs-Sulzberger family, who has been under pressure to bring out the potential value of a stock that has been performing poorly for several years. Shares of the media company's stock are currently trading at 1986 levels.

We have been avoiding the shares since early July, when they fell to $14. The company's dividend has been in question, as analysts do not believe the continuing dividend payouts can continue with the company's current debt structure. The Carlos Slim stake is a bit of good news, but we are going to watch a bit longer from the sidelines. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 6.59%, based on last night's closing stock price of $13.96.

New York Times is not a recommended dividend stock at this time, holding a rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars.

CSX Shares Lifted by Earnings Guidance Increase

Transportation company



shares are coming out of the gate strong today, as the company raises previous earnings guidance estimates.

The company now sees earnings of $3.65 to $3.75 a share for the year, up from its prior range of $3.40 to $3.60 a share. Management is expecting to see growth continue beyond 2008, with the company also raising the following long-term guidance through 2010:

Compound annual growth in operating income of 15 to 20 percent over the 2008 base, compared to the prior guidance of 13 to 15 percent over the 2007 base;

Compound annual growth in earnings per share of 20 to 25 percent over the 2008 base, compared to the prior guidance of 18 to 21 percent over the 2007 base; and

Operating ratio in the high 60s for 2010, compared to the prior target of the low 70's.

We removed shares of CSX from our "Recommended" list back on August 12th, when shares traded at $64.44. At that point, the rails had been starting to break down. This latest announcement is similar to recent news from fellow transport stock FedEx, who was also out with higher guidance based on fuel cost savings. We will monitor the shares and see if they can sustain the run up here. The company has a 1.31% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $54.85.

CSX is not a recommended dividend stock at this time, holding a rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars.

Campbell Soup Continues to Execute, Reports In-line Earnings Results

Campbell Soup


just reported quarterly results that came in line with what analysts had been expecting, as sales rose 13% to $1.72 billion.

The company hit its metrics in each of its three core categories -- simple meals, baked snacks, and healthy beverages. U.S. soup sales increased 6%. Sales for Baking and Snacking were $533 million, an increase of 13% from a year ago. The company has a portfolio of market-leading brands, including Campbell's, Pepperidge Farm, Arnott's, and V8.

We have been recommending shares of the stock since early June, when shares were trading at $32.67. We think the company is a solid holding and can be a name investors can look to add on market pullbacks. The company has a 2.34% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $37.58.

Campbell Soup is a "Recommended" dividend stock, holding a Rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Allergan Study Reveals Botox Works on Migraines

Health care company



is releasing news this morning that Botox appears to work as a treatment for adults suffering from chronic migraines, according to late-stage clinical data.

Data from its phase III clinical trials showed a significantly greater decrease in the number of headache days among patients receiving Botox, as compared with those receiving a placebo. The company may file a license application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the use of Botox in chronic migraine by mid-2009.

This is a positive for Allergan, and should help the stock price in the short term. The stock has traded in a tight band between $50 and $70 for the last two years. We have avoided the shares since our initial coverage began back in early June, and will still remain on the sidelines for now. We will continue follow this news, as it can be a nice catalyst for shares going forward. The company has a dividend yield of 0.55%, based on last night's closing stock price of $54.58.

Allergan is not a recommended dividend stock at this time, holding a 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 Visit for more dividend stock ratings, picks, news, and analysis for long-term and income-seeking investors.