Updating Washington Mutual Inc., Borders Group Inc., General Motors Corp., McDonald’s Corp., Briggs & Stratton Corp., and Arkansas Best Corp.

Article Excerpt

WASHINGTON MUTUAL INC. $43 (New York symbol WM; WSSF Rating: Average) has a low p/e (10) and high dividend yield (4.7%), partly due to fears that it invested too heavily in the housing boom; this weighs on its stock price. Now, regulators want lenders to retain more of their earnings as a cushion against rising loan losses. That could hurt the company’s ability to raise its dividend. However, these rules would have a greater impact on smaller firms than larger banks like Washington Mutual. The stock is still a buy for growth and income. BORDERS GROUP INC. $25 (New York symbol BGP; WSSF Rating: Average) earned $1.87 a share in its fourth fiscal quarter ended January 28, 2006, up 12.0% from $1.67 a year earlier. These figures exclude unusual items. Sales crept up to $1.5 billion from $1.4 billion. Borders will likely lose between $0.20 and $0.30 a share in the first quarter of fiscal 2007, due to the costs of launching…

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