let me try to answer you.
the first boldface(BF1) says company is giving more dividends. this a premise or "FACT". the argument says that share holders think that it is a good sign and stock prices are going to increase. this is the conclusion. the second premise(the whole line along with BF2) states that the conclusion might be wrong because it might be a last ditch effort.
let us look at the options
a) The first is evidence that supports a conclusion; the second is that conclusion
Wrong , the conclusion here is that which is drawn by shareholders. i.e. increasing evidence boosts the stock price. so the second boldface is not the conclusion.
b) The first describes evidence that supports a conclusion; the second gives a reason for questioning that support.
right answer, accurately describes the scenario.
c) The first describes the circumstance that the argument seeks to explain; the second provides evidence in support of the explanation that the argument seeks to establish.
the first is not a circumstance, it is evidence. the evidence is never explained, it is just taken to form a conclusion and later BF2 is given which questions the validity of the conclusion.
d) The first is a premise that is accepted as true; the second is a conclusion that is contrary to the premise.
the first part is true. the second is not the conclusion, it is another premise which gives an alternate explanation for the premise.
e) The first is a premise that is accepted as true; the second seeks to clarify the original premise.
the first part is right. the second does not clarify the premise, rather it tries to clarify the conclusion drawn from the premise.
hope this helps
this time, we play for keeps