Intel Fined Record $1.45 Billion by European Union

The European Union, Europe's combined governing body, fined microprocessor behemoth

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

a record 1.06 billion euros ($1.45 billion) for anti-competitive business practices.

The Union claims that Intel has employed illegal business practices in order to shut out competitors from the European market, most notably rival chipmaker

AMD

.

"Intel did not compete fairly, frustrating innovation and reducing consumer welfare in the process," said EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

The EU has told Intel to cease some sales practices in Europe, although Intel remains mystified about what exactly they can or can't do, calling the ruling "wrong" and "extremely ambiguous." Intel said it plans to appeal the ruling to an EU court within 60 days.

Intel currently owns about 80% of the global microprocessor market share.

The EU made the ruling following an eight-year investigation into Intel's European business practices, concluding that the company's tactics aimed at keeping rivals out of the marketplace violate European law. One such tactic the commission cited was that Intel would give steep discounts to major computer makers to exclusively carry Intel chips, and even that the chipmaker paid companies to delay or not release rival AMD processor-based computers.

The EU also said that Intel "went to great lengths to cover up many of its anticompetitive actions."

Intel shares fell 12 cents, or -0.77%, in morning trading Wednesday.

We removed shares of Intel from our "Recommended" list back on Sept. 9, when the stock was trading at $20.97. We added the stock to our "Recommended" list back in early August when it was at $23. The company has a dividend yield of 3.68%, based on last night's closing stock price of $15.21.

The stock has near-term technical support in the $12 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $17-$19 price area.

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

BMC Software Net Falls, Provides In-line 2010 Guidance

BMC Software

(BMC)

said Tuesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 14% from the same quarter last year, hampered by one-time charges and a tax provision.

The Houston-based company reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $83.3 million, or 45 cents per share, down 14% from $97 million, or 50 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding special one-items, BMC saw an adjusted profit of 64 cents per share. Revenue gained 3% from the same period last year to $479.3 million.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a profit of 62 cents per share on sales of $487 million.

As for the full fiscal year, the company said it earned $238.1 million, or $1.25 per share, a 24% decline from the previous year, when it earned $313.6 million, or $1.57 per share. Revenue rose 8%, however, to $1.87 billion from $1.73 billion.

BMC said it expects fiscal 2010 full-year earnings of $2.37 to $2.47 per share, while analyst estimates sit at $2.42 per share.

BMC shares fell $2.76, or -7.9%, in early afternoon trading Wednesday.

Shares of BMC are off 52-week highs of $40 per share. The stock has technical support in the $28-$30 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $35-$37 price levels. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but we do follow the company closely.

BMC Software does not currently pay a dividend.

Dr Pepper Profit Beats View, Raises Full-Year Guidance

Dr Pepper Snapple Group

(DPS)

said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit rose 37% from the same period last year, beating analyst expectations.

The Plano, Texas-based company reported first-quarter net income of $132 million, or 52 cents a share, from $95 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time gains, the company earned 37 cents per share, while net sales fell 3% from last year to $1.26 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts had expected a profit of 29 cents per share.

The better-than-expected results caused the company to raise its full-year 2009 forecast. Dr Pepper said it now expects full-year earnings of $1.70 to $1.78 per share, up from a previous forecast of $1.59 to $1.67 per share.

Dr Pepper shares rose 53 cents, or +2.6%, in early afternoon trading Wednesday.

Shares of DPS are off all-time highs of $26 hit in September of 2008. The stock has technical support in the $15-$17 price area. If the shares can firm up here, we see overhead resistance around the $23-$25 price levels. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock at this time, but do follow the company closely.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group does not currently pay a dividend.

Macy's Loss Widens to $88 Million, Adjusted EPS Better Than Expected

Clothing retailers

Macy's

(M) - Get Report

said Wednesday that its first-quarter loss deepened amid a consumer spending pullback, but reaffirmed its full-year guidance, which sits well below Wall Street's view.

The Cincinnati-based company posted a first-quarter net loss of $88 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a loss of $59 million, or 14 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding special items like restructuring charges of $138 million, or 5 cents per share, Macy's reported an adjusted loss of 16 cents per share.

Overall revenue fell to $5.12 billion from $5.74 billion in the same period last year.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a loss of 20 cents per share, excluding items, on sales of $5.2 billion.

The company said it expects to save $250 million through 2009, and $400 million per year beginning in 2010, as a result of recent cost-cutting measures. Macy's said back in February that it would cut 7,000 jobs, or about 4% of its work force; cut capital spending and retirement fund contributions; and reduced its dividend.

Same-stores sales fell 9.1% April, a worse decline than analysts expected. Same-stores sales are considered a key indicator of a retailer's health, since they measure the performance of stores open at least one year.

Macy's reaffirmed its full-year 2009 forecast for a 6% to 8% drop in sales and earnings of 40 cents to 55 cents per share, excluding items. Analyst estimates currently sit at 64 cents per share.

Macy's shares fell 44 cents, or -3.5%, in morning trading Wednesday.

We removed shares of Macy's from our "Recommended" list on Sept. 17, when the stock was trading at $20.17. The company has a dividend yield of 1.62%, based on last night's closing stock price of $12.35.

The stock has technical support in the $7-$8 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $15.00-$15.50 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

Macy's is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS Rating of 2.9 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.