Toyota Motors Shares and Profits Tumble

Toyota Motors

(TM) - Get Report

reported that its net profit fell 66% for the July-September quarter and tumbled 69% to 139.8 billion yen ($1.4 billion) from 450 billion yen in the previous year.

Sales dropped by 8%, to 5.6 trillion yen ($57.4 million), from 6.1 trillion yen in the comparable quarter of last year, not aided by a 22% and 13.4% drop in sales in the North American and European markets.

Vehicle sales per unit for the fiscal year are being revised lower to 8.24 million, a decrease of 673,000 compared with the last fiscal year.

We had removed shares of Toyota from our "recommended" list on Aug.19, when the stock traded at $90.75. The company has a dividend yield of 2.77%, based on last night's closing stock price of $80.37. The shares are getting thumped so far today, and this just puts the auto industry in an even worse position. The chain of suppliers will also feel any slowdown from Toyota as well. We'd avoid the auto-related sector plays for now.

Toyota Motors is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Wells Fargo Trading Down After Share Offering Announcement

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

announced late Wednesday that it plans a $10 billion common stock offering.

The company expects the offering to price after the market closes on Thursday. The company has recently been allocated $25 billion in the Treasury bailout plan. The company is slated to close its

Wachovia

(WB) - Get Report

acquisition by the end of this year.

Despite reiterating its strong financial position, Wells Fargo is following other financials in shoring up its capital base. We had removed shares of Wells Fargo from our "recommended" list back on Oct. 9, when shares traded at $31.90. We have been very cautious with our financial sector exposure. The name is definitely one that we feel will be one of the leaders when we come out of the current economic crisis. We'll keep investors posted on any ratings changes.

Wells Fargo is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Sunoco Starting to Benefit From Lower Crude Prices

Sunoco

(SUN) - Get Report

reported a more than doubling of profits in its third quarter to $549 million, or $4.70 per share. That compares with a profit of $216 million, or $1.81 per share, during the same period last year.

Management finally saw strong margins in its refining, supply and retail marketing businesses as crude prices began to fall back, following a tough first half of the year.

We removed shares of Sunoco from our "recommended" list back on June 6, when shares traded at $41.69. The company has a dividend yield of 3.92%, based on last night's closing stock price of $30.59. The company is trading at 14 times the low end of 2009 estimates, but refiners usually do well when oil prices drop, so we will keep an eye on the stock.

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

News Corp. Sees a Subdued Year for Business in 2009

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get Report

just reported its profits fell 30% for its first quarter to $515 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with a profit of $732 million or 23 cents a share in the first fiscal quarter of 2008.

The company saw some poor performance in its TV division which fell 70% to $54 million on the divestiture of eight TV stations and lower ad sales at the company's remaining owned-and-operated TV stations.

The cable network income was strong, rising 31% to $379 million on improved results at Fox News, the sports networks, the Big Ten Network and the Fox International Channels.

Lastly, newspaper and information-services income revenue climbed 37% to $1.71 billion, with a major contribution from its recent acquisition of Dow Jones & Co., which includes

The Wall Street Journal

,

Dow Jones Newswires

,

Barron's

, Factiva and

MarketWatch

.

As for the company's outlook, management expects fiscal 2009 operating income to drop by a percentage in the low to middle teens from $5.13 billion in fiscal 2008.

We had removed shares of News Corp. from our "recommended" list on Aug. 12, when shares were trading at $13.68. The company has a dividend yield of 1.23%, based on last night's closing stock price of $13.68. The company is similar to

Time Warner

(TWX)

as far as valuation, in that both sell for nearly 10 times next year's EPS estimates. The risk/reward is flat and the dividend yield is not super attractive here. The brand is solid, but the upside lacks any catalyst at the moment.

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