Jones Apparel Group Loses $823 Million in the Fourth Quarter

Jones Apparel Group

(JNY)

shares are bouncing off of 52-week lows this morning, despite the company posting a loss of $822.9 million, or $10.08 per share, compared with a loss of $89.8 million, or $1.06 per share, a year earlier.

Sales during the quarter did rise 1% to $846.9 million from $838.5 million. Management said results were heavily impacted by the highly promotional climate and weak holiday season.

We had removed shares of Jones Apparel from our "Recommended" list on Sept. 22, when the stock was trading at $19.31. We had been recommending the shares beforehand from July 30 at a price of $14.91. The company has a dividend yield of 6.13%, based on last night's closing stock price of $3.26.

The stock is trading near all-time lows and technical support is precarious at this point. If the shares can rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $8 level. We would look elsewhere for better investment opportunities at this time.

Jones Apparel Group is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 2.8 out of 5 stars.

VF Corp.'s Apparel Profit Fall 30% in Fourth Quarter

VF Corp.

(VFC) - Get Report

shares are up 1% in early trading, despite the company posting a 30% drop in fourth-quarter profit to $115.9 million, or $1.05 per share for the quarter, from $164.4 million, or $1.46 per share, for the same quarter last year.

Revenue slipped 2% to $1.89 billion, as the company felt the effects of a strong dollar and weak economy. The company saw solid performance in the outdoor brand division with The North Face and Vans brands seeing a 13% rise. The jeans division -- which includes the Wrangler and Lee brands -- saw an 8% drop.

Looking ahead, management is taking guidance down due to rising pension expense levels. It now sees first-quarter EPS in the 90-cent to 95-cent range -- below analyst expectations for $1.23 per share.

We removed shares of VF from our "Recommended" list back on Oct. 6, when the stock was trading at $72.41. The company has a 4.65% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $50.74.

The stock has technical support in the $36 to $38 price area. If that fails to hold, we could see the $29 to $30 levels. On the flipside, if the shares can firm up, we see the $57 to $62 levels as overhead resistance. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

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

Applied Materials Posts First Quarterly Loss in Six Years

Shares of

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

were down 3% in the premarket, after the chip-equipment maker reported a net loss of $132.9 million, or 10 cents a share, vs. a year-ago profit of $262.4 million, or 19 cents a share.

The company says it plans to cut back on production, and will increase the number of job cuts previously announced from 1,800 to 2,000. Management was very gloomy on the call, saying that its customers are seeing the worst fall-off in chip demand and pricing that they have ever experienced.

Looking ahead, the company sees a potential 30% drop in revenue for the next quarter, compared to last year. Share buybacks are being suspended, but the company will maintain its current dividend payouts.

We have avoided shares of Applied Materials, since our early June coverage began and the stock was trading at $18.89. The company has a 2.48% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $9.69.

The nearest technical level of support takes us back to a 10-year level in the mid $6 price range. If the stock can begin to rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $13 to $16 levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

Applied Materials is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.0 out of 5 stars.

Ingersoll-Rand Shares Spike After Fourth-Quarter Earnings Top Expectations

Shares of

Ingersoll-Rand

(IR) - Get Report

bounced up 13% in morning trading Wednesday, after the company reported better-than expected fourth-quarter earnings -- disregarding special charges.

The company, which manufactures various industrial and commercial products through its business segments, said its fourth-quarter EPS -- excluding special charges -- came in at 53 cents. Analysts had been expecting EPS of 27 cents for the quarter.

Despite the seemingly good EPS numbers, the company posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $3.29 billion, or $10.27 a share. These numbers include an impairment charge of $10.56, which was largely related to a decrease in the value of its air conditioning and services business.

Ingersoll said it expects 2009 profit from continuing operations between $1.85 and $2.25 per share, which is in-line with analyst estimates of $1.92 per share. The company also said it could post a loss in first-quarter 2009.

We removed shares of Ingersoll-Rand from our "Recommended" list back on Aug. 6, when the stock traded at $36.69. The company has a 4.62% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $15.59.

The company does have technical support in the $11 to $12 price area. If today's rebound can continue, we see overhead resistance around the $20 to $23 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

Ingersoll-Rand is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.0 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.