Sunoco Shares Drop on News Company is Cutting 20% of its Workforce

Shares of Sunoco ( SUN) were down nearly 7% in early trading after the company announced today that it will reduce its salaried workforce by approximately 750 positions in 2009, which represents about 20% of the workforce.

This was the first phase of the company's Business Improvement Initiative that included all business and operations support functions, as well as operations at the Philadelphia and Marcus Hook refineries. The company plans to offer hourly employees in certain identified areas the opportunity to resign and receive severance.

We have avoided shares of Sunoco since our early June coverage began, when the stock traded at $41.69. The company has a 4.12% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $29.11. The stock has technical support in the $21 to $22 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $31 to $33. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

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

Time Warner Adds Some Google Muscle

Tim Armstrong, Google ( GOOG) Senior Vice President, has been named Chairman and CEO of AOL, Time Warner ( TWX).

Mr. Armstrong joined Google from Snowball.com, where he was vice president of sales and strategic partnerships. Prior to his role at Snowball.com, he served as director of integrated sales & marketing at Starwave's and Disney's ABC/ESPN Internet Ventures, working across the companies' Internet, TV, radio, and print properties.

We had removed shares of Time Warner from our "Recommended" list back on Sept. 15, when the stock traded at $14.12. We had added the shares to the list on Aug. 12 at a price of $15.88. The company has a dividend yield of 2.56%, based on last night's closing stock price of $9.78.

The stock has technical support in the $7 to $9 price area. If the shares can stabilize and begin to move up, the $11 to $13 provides the key level of initial overhead resistance. We would remain on the sidelines for now, and see how well the Google influence can translate into results for this media empire.

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

Sara Lee Shares Rise on Report it May Sell European Division

Shares of Sara Lee ( SLE) were up 4% in early trading after the company said it is considering a sale of its European household and personal-care business.

The company recently reported a loss of $17 million in its fiscal second quarter. The company is under pressure to divest non-core operations from a recent activist hedge fund firm that took a 5% stake in the company.

We removed shares of Sara Lee from our "Recommended" list back on Sept. 22, when the shares traded at $13.48. The company has a dividend yield of 6.05%, based on last night's closing stock price of $7.27. The stock has technical support in the $5.50 to $7.50 price range. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $12 to $15 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

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

Hibbett Sports Matches Fourth-Quarter Profit Expectations

Shares of Hibbett Sports ( HIBB) were up over 10% in early trading after the sporting goods retailer reported fourth quarter profits rose to $7.63 million, or 26 cents per share, compared with $7.61 million, or 25 cents per share from the same period, a year ago.

Revenue rose 4% to $147.9 million from $142.8 million, despite same-store sales dropping 2.8%.

Looking ahead, management expects earnings in the $1.03 to $1.17 range for fiscal 2010, compared with $1.03 expected by analysts.

Shares of Hibbett are almost 50% off all-time highs of $33 hit near the end of 2006. The stock has technical support in the $10 to $11 price range. If the shares can rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $20 to $22 price level. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but do follow the name closely.

Hibbett Sports does not currently pay a dividend.

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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