Dividend.com: Sprint Nextel Disconnected

The company reported a quarterly loss while announcing additional losses in customers.
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Sprint Nextel Posts $1.62 Billion Fourth-Quarter Loss

Sprint Nextel

(S) - Get Report

reported another quarterly loss Thursday, disclosing that the company lost 1.3 million wireless customers during the three-month period.

Sprint reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.62 billion, or 57 cents per share, compared with a loss of $29.32 billion, or $10.31 a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue fell 14% from year-ago levels to $8.43 billion.

Excluding one-time items, Sprint's earnings beat analyst expectations. Disregarding a $1 billion writedown and other items, the company would have lost 1 cent per share, compared with adjusted profit of 23 cents per share in the year-ago period. On average, analysts expected an adjusted loss of 6 cents per share, on revenue of $8.55 billion for the most recent quarter.

During 2008, Sprint lost a net total of 4.5 million mobile subscribers.

The company said it expects the subscriber decline to slow in 2009, due to a positive response to its new phone offerings, as well as its new flat-rate calling plans.

Shares of Sprint have been hit hard and are trading nicely higher so far today. Unfortunately, the stock is still hovering near all-time lows. If the shares can begin to build some momentum, we see overhead resistance coming in around the $4 to $6 price range. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock.

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Reliance Steel Shares Surge 20% Despite Fourth-Quarter Profit Drop

Reliance Steel & Aluminum

(RS) - Get Report

shares surged Thursday, up more than 20%, after the company reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2008 earnings.

The company, which produces and distributes metals and metal products, said its fourth-quarter net income was $66.3 million, or 90 cents per share, down 17% from $79.9 million, or $1.06 per share in the year-ago period. Revenue in the quarter jumped almost 26% to $2.14 billion, from $1.71 billion in the previous year.

These results beat analyst estimates. On average, analysts were expecting earnings of 61 cents per share on revenue of $1.91 billion.

For the full-year 2008, Reliance said it earned $482.8 million, or $6.56 per share, up 18% from 2007 results of $408 million, or $5.36 per share. 2008 revenue rose to $8.72 billion, up 20% from $7.26 billion in 2007.

As is the case for many companies these days, Reliance declined to offer any 2009 guidance.

We removed shares of Reliance from our "Recommended" list back on Aug. 8, when the stock was trading at $58.62. The company has a dividend yield of 1.91%, based on last night's closing stock price of $20.97. Short-sellers overstayed their welcome in Reliance this week and are paying the price dearly today.

If the stock continues to rally, we see overhead resistance at $27 potentially giving way to a run up to the $36 to $40 price range. On the flipside, if the shares weaken again, technical support is at the $13 to $16 level. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

Reliance Steel & Aluminum is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 2.9 out of 5 stars.

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Newmont Mining Swings to Fourth-Quarter Profit on Rising Gold Prices

Newmont Mining

(NEM) - Get Report

said Thursday that it returned to profitability in the fourth quarter, aided by rising gold prices, which helped offset weakening copper demand.

The world's second-largest gold producer reported a fourth-quarter profit of $10 million, or 2 cents per share, compared with a loss of $289 million, or 63 cents a share, in the year-ago period. In the fourth quarter 2007, the company was hampered by a $1.12 billion goodwill writedown.

In the most recent quarter, Newmont said its adjusted profit was $120 million, or 26 cents a share, when excluding one-time items. However, revenue dropped 5% from the year-ago period, to $1.34 billion from $1.41 billion. Gold sales were essentially unchanged year over year, while copper sales dropped on lower demand caused by the recent economic recession.

On average, analysts were expecting profit of 25 cents per share on revenue of $1.42 billion.

As for the full year of 2008, Newmont earned $853 million, or $1.87 per share, up from a yearly loss of $1.89 billion, or $4.17 per share, in 2007. In 2008, the company disclosed $5.45 billion in gold sales and $752 million in copper sales, while total revenue rose 12% to $6.2 billion from the $5.53 billion it brought in during 2007.

In 2009, the company expects gold sales between 5.2 million and 5.5 million ounces.

We have avoided shares of Newmont since our early June coverage began, when shares were trading at $48.32. The stock has a dividend yield of 0.94%, based on last night's closing stock price of $42.76. The stock has technical support at the $28 to $30 price levels. If that fails to hold, we could re-test the $22 levels.

If the shares can continue their recent rebound, we see overhead resistance up around the $45 to $50 price points. We would remain on the sidelines for now, but will closely monitor this leading gold-mining play.

Newmont Mining is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.20 out of 5 stars

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Coca-Cola Raises Dividend by 8%

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

announced Thursday that its board has voted to raise its quarterly dividend.

The company said it would increase its quarterly dividend by approximately 8% to 41 cents, up from a previous level of 38 cents. Based on this new quarterly dividend level, the company's annual dividend is now $1.64, up from a previous level of $1.52.

The dividend will be paid April 1 to shareholders of record as of March 15.

This dividend increase is welcome news to dividend investors, and raises Coca-Cola's dividend yield to 3.84%, based on last night's closing price of $42.68.

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.