Ex-Dividend Stocks: Intel, Citigroup

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following stocks go ex-dividend Thursday, meaning an investor must purchase the shares Wednesday to qualify for the next dividend payment: Citigroup ( C), Intel ( INTC), Southern ( SO), FirstEnergy ( FE), Noble Energy ( NBL), New York Community Bancorp ( NYB), Ternium ( TX) and Walter Energy ( WLT).

Citigroup

"We think investors should consider several reasons why the outcome of a two-notch downgrade by Moody's would be manageable: 1) Citi's broker-dealer subsidiary already effectively carries a P-2 short-term rating at Moody's--and Citi's ratings were recently affirmed by S&P and Fitch, with the bank and broker-dealer each remaining at A-1 and F1, respectively; 2) Citi has increased the tenor of its repo funding over the past 2 years to months rather than weeks; 3) Citi has broadened its investor base to focus on less-ratings sensitive investors, including placing limits on ratings sensitive short-term funding sources (such as 2a-7 funds) which now comprise a "low-single digit" percentage of repo funding; and 4) Citi estimates that a two-notch downgrade from Moody's alone would trigger about $2.0B of additional cash obligations and collateral requirements--Citi's 10-K estimated cash obligations and collateral requirements would total $7.3B if all three agencies downgraded two notches simultaneously," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in an April 25 report. "Finally, Citi suggested that the market has become more forward-looking and sophisticated about counterparty assessment (and therefore, less reliant on the ratings agencies), suggesting investors have been preparing for the potential downgrade for some time."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.1%

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Intel

The technology company reported on April 17 first-quarter earnings of $2.7 billion, or 53 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $3.4 billion, or 64 cents.

"In the wake of Intel's (INTC-NR) recent acquisitions of Fulcrum and QLogic's(QLGC-NR) InfiniBand assets, the company announced last night the acquisition of Cray's (CRAY-NR) interconnect technology," Wunderlich Securities analysts wrote in an April 24 report. "We believe this reflects both strategic intellectual property acquisition combined with product aspirations as technology formerly relegated to external interconnects makes its way into silicon. We further believe Silicon Graphics' (SGI) own technology portfolio, consisting of more than 600 patents mostly around shared memory architectures, may prove tempting as a means to further bulk up the Intel IP portfolio or defend against it. We reiterate our Buy rating and $15 price target."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3%


Southern

The energy company reported on April 25 first-quarter earnings of $368 million, or 42 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $422 million, or 50 cents.

"Southern has already made substantial progress on its FY12 financing plans," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report Monday. "Recall that management had outlined plans to support its capital investment program with $3,550 million of long-term security issuances - including funding of long-term debt maturities of $1,717 million - plus $400 million of common equity issuances. Through March 31, Southern has completed about 38% of its plan, having issued $1,400 million of long-term debt and about $115 million of common stock."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 4.3%

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First Energy

The diversified energy company reported first-quarter earnings Tuesday of 82 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of 75 cents a share and ahead of analysts' estimates of 81 cents.

"Higher earnings were driven primarily by two incremental months of owning Allegheny Energy, the roll-off of outage costs including a nuclear refueling, lower interest and decreased general taxes," KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in a report Tuesday.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 4.7%


Noble Energy

The energy company reported on April 26 first-quarter earnings of $263 million, or $1.47 per share, up from year-earlier earnings of $14 million, or 8 cents.

"Noble's strong 1Q earnings reflected the scale of its Colorado Niobrara acreage,which is providing near-term cash flow until several global mega-projects come on line," Sterne Agee analysts wrote in an April 27 report. "While we are modestly reducing '12 estimates to reflect wider NGL differentials and slightly lower Israel natural gas production estimates, we are increasing '13 estimates to better reflect the Niobrara impact."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.9%

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New York Community Bancorp

The bank reported on April 18 first-quarter earnings of $118.3 million, or 27 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $123.2 million, or 28 cents.

"NYB reported Q1'12 GAAP EPS of $0.27, besting our estimate of $0.24 and theStreet at $0.26, due to higher mortgage banking income and a modest NIM beat vs.our projection," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in an April 19 report. "Strong mortgage banking income comes as no surprise, though it appears NYB sold more loans than originated, putting it squarely on a treadmill. The NIM beat was due to lower cost borrowings, which drove the improvement QoQ. Asset yields were disappointing and are likely to raise concerns that core portfolio earnings are trending lower. Given little relief to core trends is imminent, earnings estimates are likely to be revised lower, in our opinion, which would further weigh on NYB, as the dividend appears unsustainable in a challenging operating backdrop with unreliable sources of earnings delivering only a modest cushion. three months."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 7.3%


Ternium

The long steel products manufacturer reported on April 25 first-quarter earnings of $190.5 million, or 81 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $136.4 million, or 53 cents.

"We asked Ternium in the conference call if the company had studied the possibility of listing in Brazil, since steelmakers in this market currently trade at a premium of more than 50% vs. Ternium," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in an April 26 report. "The company said that it is analyzing the possibility of listing in other markets but a decision to work on it will ultimately depend on the results of its internal analysis. Our opinion is that Ternium stock price could increase by 25% or more if it lists in Brazil."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.1%

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Walter Energy

The metallurgical coal company is slated to report first-quarter earnings on Wednesday. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 83 cents a share on revenue of $663.1 million.

"Key questions in the quarter include whether '12 vols guidance remains realistic, operating plans in coming qtrs, mine performance in AL, cost outlook & growth status in CN, seaborne met coal market outlook & long-term strategy," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in an April 27 report.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.7%

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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