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Ex-Dividend Stocks: Johnson & Johnson, McGraw-Hill

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QEP Resources

The oil and natural gas exploration and production company reported first-quarter earnings on April 24 of $155.2 million, or 87 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $73.2 million, or 41 cents.

"We continue to see QEP as a viable liquids transition story (via upstream & midstream) with inexpensive natural gas optionality. Q1 proved challenging to forecast due to moving parts for both volumes and pricing in the midstream," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in an April 25 report. "Our view remains that management understands the intrinsic value of the asset and will position QEP to realize value (from upstream & midstream) over the coming 12 months. While we acknowledge the near-term outlook is catalyst light; we maintain our Buy rating following Q1 results."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.3%

Six Flags Entertainment

The theme park company reported on April 25 a first-quarter loss of $115.1 million, or $2.11 a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $148.5 million, or $2.67.

"While it still very early in the operating season, we believe SIX has laid out a sound strategy, which should continue to drive positive operating trends and we remain impressed with management's solid execution on these initiatives," KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in an April 25 report. "That said, we believe much of the operational improvement, primarily on the cost front, has been realized and we would expect further improvements in key operating metrics to be more challenging and come at a more moderate pace, specifically on admissions per capita. Longer-term, we believe SIX operates in an attractive industry and we believe management is fully committed to enhancing shareholder value, which would be a catalyst in the way of stock repurchases and further dividend increases. However, we view high investor expectations, recently strong stock performance and a potential moderation in key operating metrics compared to recent years as somewhat limiting factors in really driving significant near-term outperformance. As such, we await a more attractive entry point and therefore maintain our HOLD rating on the stock."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 5.4%

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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