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7/23/2010 8:10:18 PM
Several analysts were popping champagne about the earnings results out of Ford ( F ) last night, but I, for one, will never get excited about that name until I see the company reinstate a dividend payout.
Why I am being so hard on Ford? Because the business media does a great job of going gaga over events that usually mean nothing to long-term investors. If things are great, why isn't there a push from experts to get a dividend payout program reinstated? This is the same problem I have with all the hoopla about the financials recently knocking earnings out of the park - these firms are supposedly making money hand over fist, yet we haven't seen a single dividend boost in the sector, despite many of the stocks having extremely low yields.
Back to the auto industry for a second, news is out this morning that the "long-anticipated" General Motors IPO is due in mid-August. Will there be a dividend? We haven't heard anything about it yet, so I would ease the excitement levels. The company made news yesterday, acquiring AmeriCredit ( ACF ), giving the company a finance arm to increase leasing and make more loans to buyers with low credit scores. Let's get this straight, they owned GMAC and had to sell it. Now they are getting back in the same unsuccessful business? Don't mind me if I intend to sit this one out and see what exactly GM intends to be - whether it's a streamlined auto manufacturer or some kind of bank.
Looking elsewhere today, we saw Verizon ( VZ ) and Honeywell ( HON ) move up nicely on earnings results. Capital One Financial ( COF ) and T.Rowe Price ( TROW ) both fell following company results, as did Beckman Coulter ( BEC ) , down over 20% on the company's lowered outlook. The big catalyst to the afternoon pop was news from General Electric ( GE ) , which announced a 20% increase in the company's dividend payout. The market reacted well to the news. We wish volume was better, as we did 4.5 Billion shares traded on the NYSE, but we'll take a Friday rally in the summer and see how things kick in next week.
As we take a peek at next week's schedule, earnings will be a dominant theme with companies like Colgate-Palmolive ( CL ) , Coach ( COH ) , Metlife ( MET ) and Merck ( MRK ) reporting their results. Be sure to catch up with Dividend.com Premium this weekend and check out the latest watchlist updates.