Burger King Announces $200 Million Share Buyback

Shares of Burger King ( BKC) were flat in early trading, despite the company's announcement its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $200 million of the company's common stock.

Management said the share repurchases will be made in the open market from time to time prior to Dec. 31, 2010, and be funded from available cash.

We have avoided shares of Burger King since our early June coverage began, and shares were trading at $28.25. The company has a dividend yield of 1.14%, based on last night's closing stock price of $21.86.

The stock has technical support at the $16 to $17 price area. If those levels fail to hold, we could possibly see the $13 price point. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $24 to $25 levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

Intrepid Postash Hits New Low After Fourth-Quarter Results

Shares of Intrepid Potash ( IPI) were down nearly 14% in morning trading, after the company reported fourth-quarter profit of $22.7 million up from $4.7 million on a comparative pro forma basis from the fourth quarter of 2007.

The company said Potash sales in the fourth quarter were 94,000 short tons compared to 215,000 short tons in the fourth quarter of 2007. Potash production in the quarter decreased to 201,000 short tons compared to 217,000 short tons produced in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The average net realized sales price for Potash in the fourth quarter 2008 increased to $762 per short ton ($840 per metric tonne) compared to $224 per short ton ($247 per metric tonne) in the same period of 2007.

The stock peaked in the mid-$70s after its IPO debut in May of last year. The shares are at all-time technical lows. If the stock can manage to rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $22 to $24 price levels. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but do follow the name and the rest of the fertilizer sector closely.

Intrepid Potash does not currently pay a dividend.

Whole Foods Settles With FTC, Selling 31 Wild Oats Stores

Shares of Whole Foods ( WFMI) were flat earlier today, after the company announced it has reached a settlement agreement resolving the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust challenge to Whole Foods Market's August 2007 acquisition of Wild Oats Markets.

Under the terms of the agreement, a third-party divestiture trustee has been appointed to market for sale:

  • Leases and related assets for 19 non-operating former Wild Oats stores, 10 of which were closed by Wild Oats prior to the merger and nine of which were closed by Whole Foods Market;

  • Leases and related fixed assets -- excluding inventory -- for 12 operating acquired Wild Oats stores and one operating Whole Foods Market store.

Whole Foods is coming off a miserable 2008 in which shares fell 75%. The company recently suspended its dividend payouts as well. The economy has definitely pinched its customers who have been paying premium prices for items found on the supermarket's shelves.

The stock has technical support in the $7 to $8 price area. If that fails to hold, then the $4 to $5 range could be a possibility. The company does have overhead resistance at the $14 to $15 levels if the stock can begin to move higher. We do not rate this non-dividend paying stock at this time, but it is a company we follow closely.

Whole Foods recently suspended its dividend payouts.

AnnTaylor Shares Plummet on Fourth-Quarter Results

Shares of AnnTaylor Stores ( ANN) were down nearly 27% in today's morning session, following the retailer's fourth-quarter loss of $375.6 million, or $6.66 per share, compared with a loss of $6.7 million, or 11 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Sales fell nearly 20% to $483.4 million from $600.8 million, as same-store sales dropped 24.5%. Management cited rising unemployment and declining consumer confidence for its poor results.

Shares of Ann Taylor are way off of all-time highs of $44 a share hit in October, 2006. The stock is trading near all-time historic lows. If the shares can manage to bounce a bit here, we see initial overhead resistance around the $7 mark. The $12 level would come into play above that. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but do follow this women's retailer company and sector closely.

AnnTaylor Stores 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.