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Lehman Brothers


said it will report a loss of $3.9 billion in the third quarter, an announcement that came as the company disclosed other initiatives meant to pull it out of its downward spiral.

The quick breakdown of this announcement is that the company will cut its annual dividend, spin off its commercial real-estate holdings to shareholders and sell a majority stake in its Neuberger Berman investment-management division.

The beat goes on for Lehman Brothers, as the markets hope that this company starts to come off the front page soon. The markets hate uncertainty, and Lehman moved up its earnings release in an attempt to bring clarity to the situation. We continue to say Lehman Brothers is only for extremely nimble short-term traders and not for long- or short-term investors.

Lehman Brothers is not a recommended dividend stock at this time, holding a rating of 2.0 out of 5 stars.

Stewart Enterprises Reports Steady Earnings

Stewart Enterprises


just reported a solid third-quarter report, in which profits grew more than 12%.

Earnings were in line with what analysts had expected, and revenue grew 2.3% to $130.4 million. The company is also still reviewing an offer it received in July from fellow funeral company

Service Corp.



We like the risk/reward for the shares here, and we believe the stock could see decent upside with a potential deal. The company has a 1.10% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $9.12.

Stewart Enterprises is a "Recommended" dividend stock, holding a Rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Texas Instruments -- No New News is Good News?

Texas Instruments


gave its midquarter update after the bell yesterday, and it appears the company is still within its previous guidance.

Many analysts were concerned that



downward revisions would hit Texas Instruments' bottom line. On the EPS side, the company expects earnings of 42 cents to 46 cents, compared with a previous forecast of 41 cents to 47 cents per share. The revenue revision is for $3.33 billion to $3.47 billion, compared with its previous estimates of $3.26 billion to $3.54 billion.

We have avoided the stock since our initial coverage began in early June. At the time, shares were trading at the $31 level. We are still not excited by the company here, and we continue to avoid it. Texas Instruments has a dividend yield of 1.84% based on last night's closing stock price of $21.71.

Texas Instruments is not a recommended dividend stock at this time, holding a rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars.

FedEx Raises Guidance



expects to report earnings of $1.23 a share for the first quarter ended Aug. 31. The company's previous earnings guidance was 80 cents to $1 a share. For fiscal 2009, the company is reaffirming its forecast of $4.75 to $5.25 a share.

Management is citing lower-than-expected fuel costs late in the quarter and stringent cost management as the keys to the improved outlook. The company did express concern that slowing economic growth trends in the U.S. are now extending to other areas of the global economy.

We like the positive news from FedEx, which should boost our "Recommended" pick of

United Parcel Service


. We prefer the shares of UPS over FedEx at the moment, but we'll begin to take a closer look at FedEx shares going forward. FedEx has a 0.47% dividend yield based on last night's closing stock price of $84.75.

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

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.