Whirlpool Cuts Guidance, Jobs

Whirlpool ( WHR) just announced that its net earnings in the third quarter fell 7% to $163 million, as sales rose 1% to $4.9 billion.

The company said it expected appliance shipments in North America to fall about 10% in 2008, compared with a previous forecast of a 6% to 7% drop. The company is doing well overseas as sales rose 9% in Europe, 22% in Latin America and 11% in Asia. The company will eliminate 7% of its workforce by the end of 2009 because of the weakening global economy.

As for its outlook, the company is revising its full-year earnings lower to a full-year profit of $5.75 to $6 a share, down from its previous forecast of $7 to $7.50.

We had removed shares of WHR back on Oct. 6, when shares traded at $71.13. The company has a dividend yield of 3.44%, based on last night's closing stock price of $50.03. The consumer spending slowdown is crushing the company here in the states. We think the stock may test technical levels in the $38 to $40 range if the market continues to correct. We would wait to see shares stabilize a bit before jumping in.

Whirlpool is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars.

Teleflex Sees Benefits from Acquisitions

Teleflex ( TFX) reported after the bell yesterday that its revenue for the quarter grew 30% to $595.9 million, with the help of acquisitions and favorable currency moves.

The manufacturer of engineered products and services for the medical, aerospace and commercial markets worldwide reported increased sales to medical device manufacturers that resulted in a 1% increase in core revenue for the Medical Segment. There was a 2% decline in core revenue for the Aerospace Segment compared to the prior-year period.

Management is providing full-year 2008 guidance from continuing operations of $3.90 to $4 per diluted share. The consensus EPS estimates are in a range of $3.80 to $3.95 per share.

We had removed shares of TFX from our "Recommended" list on Sept. 29, when shares were trading at $66.81. The company has a dividend yield of 2.94% bsed on last night's closing stock price of $43.47. The shares are trading at 13 times the low end of 2009 EPS estimates. We think the stock has a flat risk/reward profile at these levels, but will keep investors posted of any potential changes.

Teleflex is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars.

Masco Cuts Views for EPS by 50%

Masco ( MAS) just reported its third-quarter profit fell by 84%.

The company's sales for the quarter fell 15.9% to $2.53 billion. North American sales dropped 18% and international sales dropped 6%. Weak new-home sales and consumers holding back on home-improvement projects are the key anecdotes the company is citing for the slowdown.

The company is continuing to cut costs, including plant closures and layoffs. In the last two years the company has closed 14 manufacturing facilities and reduced its workforce by 20,000 people.

As far as guidance goes, management is now seeing EPS falling to a range of 25 cents to 30 cents per share this year, down from its previous estimate of 50 cents to 65 cents. The consensus is for 61 cents.

We had removed shares of Masco from our "Recommended" list back on Sept. 23, when shares were trading at $17.87. This is after being in the shares for nearly a month at the $19 level. The company has a dividend yield of 9.52%, but this may not be able to be sustained as the company moves forward. Investors need to be careful with the name until we see shares stabilize. The next potential level of support would take us to the 15-year low levels of $7.80. We would look elsewhere for better opportunities.

Masco is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 2.8 out of 5 stars.

Entergy's Nuclear Division Sees Profits

Entergy ( ETR) just announced its third quarter revenue rose more than 20% to $3.96 billion, topping analysts' estimates of $3.86 billion.

A highlight of the call was the company's nuclear earnings increasing as a result of higher power prices. Management credits its sound integrated scenario planning and preparation for its ability to profit during both the worldwide collapse of the financial market and some of the most devastating storm activity -- Gustav and Ike -- to ever hit the Gulf Coast area.

As for its outlook, the company reaffirmed its 2008 earnings guidance of $6.50 a share to $6.90.

We had removed shares of ETR on Aug. 8, when shares were trading at $103.24. The company has a dividend yield of 4.07%, based on last night's closing stock price of $$73.76. The shares are trading at 12 times the low end of 2009 EPS estimates. We think the stock may offer a flat risk/reward scenario at the present time. We will keep tabs on the stock and update any potential happenings that will justify a ratings upgrade.

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

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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