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A numerical dispersion analysis of the alternating-direction implicit finite-difference time-domain method for transverse-electric waves in lossy materials is presented. Two different finite-difference approximations for the conduction terms are considered: the double-average and the synchronized schemes. The numerical dispersion relation is derived in a closed form and validated through numerical simulations. This study shows that, despite its popularity, the accuracy of the double-average scheme is sensitive to how well the relaxation-time constant of the material is resolved by the time step. Poor resolutions lead to unacceptably large numerical errors. On the other hand, for good conductors, the synchronized scheme allows stability factors as large as 100 to be used without deteriorating the accuracy significantly.