Pall Hits New 52-Week Low After Pulling Guidance

Shares of Pall ( PLL) hit new lows Thursday, on the heels of Wednesday's earnings report in which the company pulled its 2009 guidance.

The East Hills, N.Y.-based company, which develops filtration and purification technologies, reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $38.9 million, or 33 cents per share, compared to $48 million, or 39 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding special one-time charges, Pall adjusted earnings were $45.2 million or 38 cents per share. Net sales fell 13% to $543.3 million from $625.7 million in the year-ago period.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected earnings of 44 cents per share, excluding items, on sales of $581.10 million.

Pall declined to offer any guidance for 2009, citing turbulent economic conditions. The company had previously forecast full-year 2009 earnings of $2.15 to $2.30 per share, excluding charges and currency impacts.

Pall shares traded down $3.93, or -17%, in early afternoon trading Thursday.

We have avoided shares of Pall since our early June coverage began, when the stock traded at $40.73. The company has a 2.56% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $22.68.

The stock has technical support near all-time technical lows in the $12 to $15 price range. If the stock can rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $26 to $28 levels. We would look elsewhere for a better investment opportunity at this time.

Pall is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 2.9 out of 5 stars.

Pfizer Rallies on Pancreatic Tumor Drug Trial Results

Shares of Pfizer ( PFE) were up 6% in early trading after the drug company said its cancer drug Sutent met goals against pancreas tumors during recent trials.

The company tested Sutent for patients with advanced tumors in the islet cells of the pancreas. An independent monitoring committee recommended halting the trials on the positive developments.

The drug is currently approved to treat renal cell carcinoma.

We removed the shares of Pfizer from our "Recommended" list on Nov. 12, when the stock was trading at $16.77. The company has a recently lowered dividend yield of 5%, based on last night's closing stock price of $12.79. The stock has technical support in the $7 price range.

If the shares can continue to ramp on today's news, we see overhead resistance coming in around the $15 level. We like today's news, but would stay on the sidelines for now.

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

Smithfield Foods Third-Quarter Loss Totals $103.1 Million

Pork producer Smithfield Foods ( SFD) said Thursday that it lost $103.1 million in the fiscal third quarter, hurt by higher feed costs and a big restructuring charge, but adjusted EPS beat analyst expectations.

The Smithfield, Va.-based company reported a third-quarter loss of $103.1 million, or 72 cents per share, compared with a profit of $54.5 million, or 41 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding special one-time items, the company saw a loss of $21.4 million, or 15 cents per share. Sales grew to $3.35 billion from $3.12 billion last year, although this year's results included an extra week.

Excluding items, on average, Wall Street analysts expected a loss of 27 cents on sales of $3.41 billion.

Smithfield CEO said the company will concentrate its efforts on the packaged foods market, where its margins are highest. The company is in the midst of a restructuring plan, in which it plans to cut 1,800 jobs.

Shares of Smithfield Foods rose $1.24, or +20%, in late morning trading Thursday.

Shares of Smithfield are way off of May 2008 highs of $31 a share. The stock has technical support in the $3 price area. If the shares can rebound, we see overhead resistance in the $9 to $10 price range. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but we do follow the name closely.

Smithfield Foods does not currently pay a dividend.

Nash Finch Shares Fall on Fourth-Quarter Earnings Miss

Minneapolis-based food distributor Nash Finch ( NAFC) said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit fell 27% from the year-ago period, missing analyst expectations and sending its shares plummeting.

Nash Finch reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $6.2 million, or 47 cents a share, down 27% from $8.5 million, or 62 cents, in the year-ago period. Excluding special one-time items, the company would have earned 63 cents per share in the latest quarter.

On average, analysts were expecting earnings of 91 cents per share.

Sales increased by 12% to $1.2 billion from $1.07 billion in the year-ago period.

For the full year 2008, Nash Finch reported net income of $36.2 million, or $2.75 per share, compared to $38.8 million, or $2.84 per share, in 2007.

Shares of Nash Finch fell $5.67, or -17.7%, in early trading Thursday.

We removed shares of Nash Finch from our "Recommended" list on Sept. 17, when the stock was trading at $44.36. The company has a 2.23% dividend yield based on last night's closing stock price of $32.27. The stock has technical support around the $19 to $22 price area. If the shares can rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $34 to $36 price levels. We would look elsewhere for a better investment opportunity at this time.

Nash Finch is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.1 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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