KB Home Earnings Plunge, But Stock Hangs Tough

KB Home ( KBH) announced that its third-quarter loss quadrupled from a year-ago period, as revenue dropped by 56% amid sluggish sales and falling home prices.

Revenue dipped to $681.6 million from $1.54 billion, as excessive inventories and less mortgage availability hurt sales across most markets. The scariest statistic reported was that half of the company's homebuyers backed out of their contracts in the quarter. Hopefully, these weren't speculators still sniffing out deals; that would only delay the inevitable housing bottom.

We recently removed the stock from our "recommended" list, but we have to say it was not an easy decision. The stock has been resilient, and if today's early indication is correct, we may have to re-evaluate our decision. We do like to watch a stock's reaction to news, and the homebuilding stocks have been unusually resilient. We'll keep you posted.

KB Home is not a recommended dividend stock at this time, holding a Dividend.com rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

JP Morgan Raises Cash Quickly With $10 Billion Offering

JP Morgan Chase ( JPM) has priced 246.9 million shares at $40.50 each -- for total proceeds of $10 billion -- as the bank moves ahead in its purchase of Washington Mutual's ( WM) assets.

At the completion of the deal, the price tag for JPMorgan Chase to acquire Washington Mutual is around $1.9 billion. The bank plans to write down Washington Mutual's loan portfolio by about $31 billion. JPMorgan Chase also acquired the once-mighty Bear Stearns ( BSC) -- which was also forced to sell -- back in March.

There is no question that JPMorgan has catapulted even further up the bank survivor list. The key now is to not chase any particular run in the name but to allow time to slowly clear away the mess that needs to be cleaned up. The benefits of this deal for JPMorgan will take time to be fully realized. We do like the shares and recommend them, but we would recommend being patient as far as adding to positions. JPMorgan Chase has a 3.50% dividend yield, on the basis of last night's closing stock price of $43.46.

JPMorgan Chase is a recommended dividend stock, currently holding a Dividend.com rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Jabil Circuit Reports Quarterly Earnings In-Line With Estimates

Jabil Circuit ( JBL), a provider of electronic manufacturing services and solutions, came in 1 penny below consensus EPS estimates as revenue increased 4% to $3.3 billion.

The company's core earnings per share increased 18% to $1.12 per diluted share for the period, compared with 95 cents for fiscal 2007. Also, the company finished the quarter with cash and cash equivalent balances of $773 million.

The company's cash hoard makes it an interesting value play as we start to look toward 2009 and a possible rebound. For now, we would still avoid the shares, but we will closely monitor the news flow for any positive changes. We had removed the shares from our "recommended" list back on Sept. 3 at a price of $15.59. The company has a 2.62% dividend yield, on the basis of last night's closing stock price of $10.69.

Jabil Circuit is not a recommended dividend stock at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars.

Accenture Delivers Another Solid Quarter

Accenture ( ACN) has beaten its fourth-quarter EPS estimates by 1 penny, as revenue gained 17% to $6 billion.

In the Americas, the company generated $9.73 million, compared with $8.48 million for fiscal 2007, an increase of 15% in U.S. dollars and 12% in local currency. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the company did $11.55 million -- compared with $9.53 million for fiscal 2007 -- an increase of 21% in U.S. dollars and 10% in local currency. Accenture performed well in the Asia Pacific region, making $2.12 million, compared with $1.68 million for fiscal 2007, an increase of 26% in U.S. dollars and 15% in local currency.

For its next fiscal year, Accenture forecast net revenue growth of 9% to 12% and earnings per diluted share of $2.85 to $2.93.

We have been recommending shares of Accenture since late June, but the shares have been basically unchanged since that time. We did like the earnings report and will evaluate the shares closely as we continue to move forward. The company has a 1.35% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $37.17.

Accenture is a recommended dividend stock, currently holding a Dividend.com rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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.

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