Hurt by Writedowns, Washington Post Fourth-Quarter Net Profit Drops 77%
were down $12, or 3%, in early trading Wednesday, after the education and media company posted fourth-quarter profits that fell 77% from year-ago levels.
The company posted a fourth quarter net income of $18.8 million, or $2.01 per share, down 77% from $82.9 million, or $8.71 per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue, however, grew 3% to $1.16 billion from $1.13 billion.
The Washington Post's results were hampered by two major one-time charges -- a $142.3 million writedown on the value of its newspapers and other assets, and a $111.1 million charge for early retirement expenses.
The company said its newspaper revenue fell 13% year over year to $201.7 million. A 13% gain in the company's education business, to $609.1 million, and an 11% gain in cable TV revenue helped offset this decline. The company owns educational test preparation company
as well as cable television operator
We have avoided shares of the Post since our early June coverage began, when the stock was trading at $596.50. The company has a 2.23% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $384.99. The stock has technical support around the $300 to $320 level. If the stock can rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $420 level, followed by the $450 mark. We would remain on the sidelines for now.
The Washington Post is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 2.8 out of 5 stars.
Wynn Resorts Deals Fourth-Quarter Loss to Investors
are down over 15% in early trading after the casino operator reported a fourth-quarter loss of $159 million, or $1.49 per share, compared with income of 58 cents per share a year earlier.
The company said gambling revenue was $456 million in the fourth quarter, down 13% compared with a year earlier.
Management is citing a weakened consumer, who is currently not gambling as much as the company has seen in the past. The company said it had $1.1 billion cash on hand at the end of 2008 and $4.3 billion in total debt.
Shares of Wynn Resorts are way off of the $165 a share highs hit in October of 2007. The stock has technical support around the $12 to $16 level. That would be all-time lows for the stock. If the shares can rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $33 to $36 levels. We do not currently rate this nondividend paying stock, but we follow the casino industry closely as a gauge for consumer spending.
Wynn Resorts does not currently pay a dividend.
Eaton Vance First-Quarter Profit Falls 57%, but Earnings Still Beat Expectations
Money management company
said its fiscal first-quarter profit fell 57% year over year, but the company's EPS still came in slightly ahead of analyst estimates.
The Boston-based money manager, which is one of the largest purveyors of closed-end funds, saw first quarter profits of $24.7 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with $57.9 million, or 46 cents a share, in the year-ago period.
On average, Wall Street analysts were expecting a slightly lower 20 cents per share.
Quarterly revenue fell 28% year over year to $209.5 million. Times are tough for asset managers like Eaton Vance, who earn fees from investment money its clients entrust to them.
Despite the investing drop-off, the company saw quarterly net inflows of $3.3 billion.
Shares of Eaton Vance were up 76 cents, or 4.4%, in late-morning trading Wednesday.
We have avoided shares of Eaton Vance since our early June coverage began, when the stock traded at $41.01. The company has a 3.62% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $17.15. The stock has technical support at the $11 to $12 price area. If the shares can build some momentum, we see overhead resistance around the $23 to $25 price area. We would remain on the sidelines for now.
Eaton Vance is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 2.8 out of 5 stars.
DreamWorks Hits All-Time Lows Following Fourth-Quarter Report
were down about 6% after the movie studio company reported that fourth-quarter profit fell 45% to $51.6 million, or 58 cents per share, compared to year-ago profit of $94.1 million, or 98 cents per share.
The company said sales dropped to $199.8 million from $290.2 million in the year-earlier quarter, as a result of a slowing home-video market.
Looking ahead, the company expects the upcoming "Monsters vs. Aliens" to be a big driver for earnings in 2009. The movie is set to open in the U.S. on March 27 and is the company's first 3-D movie.
Shares of DreamWorks are way off of their IPO high of $42 a share set in November 2004. The stock is trading at all-time lows, so there is not much technical support to speak of. If the shares can rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $24 to $26 price area. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but do follow the stock and the rest of the media sector closely.
DreamWorks Animation does not currently pay a dividend.
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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.