All but five of the Yonder 40 stocks fell last week in what was a dismal week for the markets. The 40, the Daily Yonder’s stock index of publicly traded companies based in rural America, dropped just over four percent for the week, matching drops in the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500.
It was hard to find too much in the Yonder 40 — or in the general market — that looked good last week. The best performer was Andersons, Inc., a Midwest agriculture group. Andersons increased its earnings projections and was rewarded with a three percent bump in its stock price. Andersons reported that the boom in the grain markets was increasing the company’s earnings. Andersons also projects increases in its ethanol group.
The only other Yonder stock to see substantial gains this past week was UST, the smokeless tobacco and wine producer. Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the stock and set a target price over the next 12 months of $61 a share. UST closed Friday at $51.74.
There was other activity among the Yonder 40 stocks and in the rural economy:
“¢ Rural bank groups did poorly. Southwest Bancorp saw its third-quarter net income fall to $5.52 million from $6.64 million last year. The drop was apparently not caused by the subprime lending debacle sweeping the markets. Southwest said it had almost no exposure to the subprime market. Still, Southwest dropped over 12 percent this week.
Regions Financial increased its dividend and reported third quarter profits 12% over last year, but the stock still lost ten percent of its value last week. The Wall Street Journal reported that “the Birmingham, Ala., bank’s loan-loss provision ballooned 50% from this year’s second quarter to reflect higher loan charge-offs that are expected by Regions executives in coming quarters.”
“¢Cabelas, the outdoors sporting goods retailer, reported that third-quarter results will fall below estimates as margins were cut by sales promotions. The stock lost nearly 12% of its value.
“¢ Mohawk Industries, the Georgia carpet-maker, reported that third quarter earnings were down. The company said residential sales were down, a result of the crummy housing market.
“¢ Pork producer Smithfield Foods sued the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, claiming the union was using “illegal extortionate pressures” to drive the company out of business. The foodworkers union is attempting to organize Smithfield’s pork workers in Tar Heel, North Carolina. Smithfield’s stock was down less than a point last week.
“¢ Wal-Mart continued its prices-cutting in an early jump on the Christmas season. The retailer cut prices on 15,000 items, a 20 percent increase over this time last year. Wal-Mart promised more cuts as the retail industry predicts its worst Christmas season in five years.
Below are the full results for the Yonder 40 for the week October 1-19, 2007:
|Companies||Ticker||Price October 19||Price Change for Week||Percent Change for Week|
|Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.||BNI||82.48||-$1.08||-1.29%|
|Peabody Energy Corp.||BTU||50.58||-$0.64||-1.25%|
|ConAgra Foods Inc.||CAG||24.1||-$0.70||-2.82%|
|Cato Corp. Cl A||CTR||17.86||-$1.41||-7.32%|
|Deere & Co.||DE||145.14||-$9.08||-5.89%|
|Dean Foods Co.||DF||26.23||-$0.10||-0.38%|
|Family Dollar Stores Inc.||FDO||24.56||-$2.85||-10.40%|
|Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.||FLE||8.93||-$0.65||-6.78%|
|Gaylord Entertainment Co.||GET||52.37||-$0.90||-1.69%|
|International Speedway Corp.||ISCA||45.72||-$1.78||-3.75%|
|Mohawk Industries Inc.||MHK||81.76||-$0.58||-0.70%|
|Mine Safety Appliances Co.||MSA||44.71||-$2.81||-5.91%|
|Plum Creek Timber REIT||PCL||40.4||-$1.51||-3.60%|
|Penn Virginia Corp.||PVA||43.5||-$2.08||-4.56%|
|Regions Financial Corp.||RF||26.4||-$3.16||-10.69%|
|Sturm Ruger & Co.||RGR||16.86||-$1.36||-7.46%|
|Stage Stores Inc.||SSI||17.56||-$1.25||-6.65%|
|Tractor Supply Co.||TSCO||44.65||-$3.50||-7.27%|
|Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.||WDR||27.33||$0.12||0.44%|