The New York Times Taps Real Estate Holding for LiquidityNew York Times ( NYT - Get Report) just announced it plans to borrow up to $225 million against its mid-Manhattan headquarters building to ease a potential cash flow squeeze. The company has retained real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield to help the effort to secure financing. The company currently owns 58% of the 52-story building, which was completed last year and is now its new headquarters. The Bottom Line We had removed shares of NYT from our "Recommended" list on July 9, when shares traded at $14.01. We had previously included the shares on our list when we started coverage in early June, when the stock was at $16.82. This move to secure liquidity is very aggressive, and really puts the company under further debt pressure. We would still avoid the shares here, and it appears the only catalyst to save this stock could be if Rupert Murdoch were interested in locking up another traditional media play. New York Times is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 2.7 out of 5 stars. McDonald's November Sales Prove Resilient McDonald's ( MCD - Get Report) just reported global same-store sales rose 7.7% in November, while U.S. sales rose 4.5%. The company credited solid sales of breakfast items, chicken sandwiches and the chain's value menu options. The same-store sales number did come in below the October results, which were up 8.2%. Management said the company has recently added Southern-style chicken sandwiches, breakfast biscuits as well as espresso-based lattes and other drinks in an effort to gain more customers.
The Bottom Line We have been recommending shares of MCD since June 9, when the stock was trading at $56.95. The company has a dividend yield of 3.19%, based on Friday's closing stock price of $56.95. The company has been a steady performer throughout the swoon the market has experienced. We like how the shares have performed so far on our "Recommended" list and would still hold the shares here. McDonald's is a "Recommended" stock at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. >Chesapeake Energy Stops Share-Sale Plan, Stock Lifts Chesapeake Energy ( CHK - Get Report) is announcing it is canceling plans to sell shares, but will cut capital expenditures and output and sell assets to raise up to $4 billion. An analyst from JPMorgan this morning raised his rating on the stock to overweight from neutral, citing solved liquidity problems and expectations that the company will still have solid growth despite cutbacks in exploration and development spending. The Bottom Line We had removed shares of CHK from our "Recommended" list on Aug. 4, when the stock traded at $45.25. The company has a 2.39% dividend yield, based on Friday's closing stock price of $11.32. Shares of CHK have been extremely volatile, and we would prefer to look at energy names that are more stable and have better dividend yields. We currently prefer a company like BP ( BP). Chesapeake Energy is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 2.8 out of 5 stars. MetLife Delivers Mixed Messages MetLife ( MET - Get Report) just reported it will beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter consensus estimates.
The company expects fourth-quarter net income between $1.2 billion, or $1.50 a share, and $2 billion, or $2.55 a share, above consensus estimates of 74 cents a share. Despite the positive news, the company did say its fourth-quarter earnings will take a hit from a "significant" pullback in variable-investment income and tough equity markets. The company said it could post an operating loss in the fourth quarter. The Bottom Line We had removed shares of MET from our "Recommended" list on Sept.29, when the stock traded at $53.81. The company has a 2.41% dividend yield, based on Friday's closing stock price of $30.76. We would be careful chasing MET on today's announcement. The stock has nearly doubled in price since Nov. 20. We would like to see the stock consolidate in the mid- to high-$20s for a bit, before we decide to alter any of our current ratings. MetLife is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.3 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.