Updating Our Conservative Stocks Alcoa Inc., Ford Motor Company and Ameriprise Financial Inc.

Article Excerpt

ALCOA INC. $28 has agreed to sell its home exteriors business, which makes a variety of do-it-yourself residential improvement products such as siding, windows and patio doors. The sale price of $300 million is equal to 40% of the $744 million or $0.85 a share it earned in the second quarter of 2006. The sale is part of Alcoa’s plan to focus on more profitable segments of the construction market, such as industrial buildings. Buy. FORD MOTOR COMPANY $8 has suspended its $0.05 quarterly dividend, as it tries to save money in an increasingly competitive automotive industry. The company may also try to merge with another carmaker to cut costs. Hold. AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL INC. $47 has launched its own federal saving bank. The company hopes to expand revenue by offering its wealth management clients regular banking services such as mortgages and deposit accounts. But demand for financial planning services could fall if the economy slows down. Hold. Hold…

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