U.S. Bancorp to Offer $2.5 Billion in Shares

U.S. Bancorp

(USB) - Get Report

was one of three major banks that announced a large share offering Monday to fund its repayment of government-issued TARP funds.

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The Minneapolis-based company said it would sell $2.5 billion in common shares, diluting existing shareholders. The bank has borrowed around $6.6 billion in TARP funds. Shares fell $1.09 or 5% in early afternoon trading Monday.

We had removed shares of USB from our "recommended" list on Oct. 9 when the stock was trading at $30.83. The stock has technical support in the $15 to $16 price area. If the stock can continue its recent rise, we see overhead resistance coming around the $22 to $15 price levels. U.S. Bancorp (USB) is not recommended at this time and holds a Dividend.com DARS rating of 2.9 out of 5 stars.

Priceline.com First-Quarter Profit Jumps 81%; Adjusted Net Beats Estimates

Online travel company

Priceline.com

(PCLN)

said Monday that its first-quarter profit rose significantly from the same quarter last year, but remained cautious due to economic and swine flu concerns.

The Norwalk, Conn., company reported first-quarter net income of 25 million or 53 cents per share, up from $13.8 million or 28 cents per share in the year-ago period. Excluding special one-time items, the company posted adjusted earnings per share of $1.09 compared to 76 cents last year. Quarterly revenue rose 15% to $462 million.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a profit of 91 cents per share, excluding items, on revenue of $440.8 million.

The company said that its total bookings increased by 10.5% in the quarter, with U.S. bookings rising 18% and international bookings gaining 24%.

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Due to uncertain economic conditions, Priceline declined to provide full-year 2009 guidance, but did say it expects second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.65 per share to $1.75 per share. Wall Street analysts expect $1.65 per share.

Priceline shares were mostly flat in late-morning trading Monday.

Shares of Priceline are nearly 40% off 52-week highs of $144 a share. The stock has been strong lately and has near-term technical support in the $86 to $90 price area. If the shares can continue recent strength, we see overhead resistance around the $112 to $117 price levels.

We do not currently rate this non-dividend-paying stock, but have mentioned the stock frequently on our "non-dividend stocks to watch" premium posts.

Dish Network First-Quarter Profit Rises 21%, Beating Estimates

Satellite TV provider

Dish Network

(DISH) - Get Report

said Monday that its first-quarter profit beat expectations, despite losing 94,000 net customers in the quarter.

The Englewood, Colo., company reported first-quarter net income of $312.7 million or 70 cents per share, up 21% from $258.6 million or 57 cents per share in the year-ago period. Revenue grew 2.1% to $2.91 billion, up from $2.84 billion last year. On average, Wall Street analysts expected profits of 56 cents per share on revenue of $2.84 billion.

The company said it will continue to seek a replacement for former high-speed Internet access partner

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

, whose contract expired in January. Dish said that partnership contributed about 17% of the company's new subscribers in 2008.

Dish shares rose $2.55, or +16%, in morning trading Monday.

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Shares of Dish are way off 52-week highs of $35.66. The stock has technical support in the $12 to $13 price area. If the shares can continue to gain on today's bounce, we see overhead resistance around the $17 to $20 levels. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but do follow the company closely.

WellCare Swings to $37 Million Loss

Managed health care services provider

WellCare Health Plans

(WCG) - Get Report

said Monday that it swung to a first-quarter loss, but its adjusted earnings still beat analyst estimates.

The Tampa, Fla., company reported a first quarter net loss of $36.9 million or 89 cents per share, compared with net income of $1.3 million or 3 cents per share in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, WellCare posted adjusted income of 29 cents per share compared with 52 cents per share in the same period last year. Revenue grew nearly 10% to $1.8 billion from $1.64 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a profit of 15 cents per share, excluding one-time items, on revenue of $1.75 billion. The company cited investment losses and higher expenses for Medicaid and Medicare services, among other charges, for the quarterly loss. WellCare shares fell $2.15, or 10.7%, in morning trading Monday.

WellCare is way off of 52-week highs of $55. The stock has technical support in the $13 to $15 price area. If the shares can continue its recent run up, we see overhead resistance around the $20 to $25 price levels. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but do follow the company closely.

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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.