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Ex-Dividend Stocks: T. Rowe Price, SPX

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Mercury General

The car insurance products company reported first-quarter net income on April 30 of $73.4 million, or $1.34 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $58.2 million, or $1.06 a share.

"With top line now declining and the potential for further margin pressure due to rising claims severity and possible reserve additions, we believe Mercury will be hard-pressed to grow earnings over the next several years at its historical growth rate and its ROE should stay around 12 percent according to our model," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in an April 30 report. "The company's dividend yield provides downside support for the shares, but we believe upside is limited as well."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 5.7%


MDU Resources Group

The diversified natural resource company reported first-quarter earnings on April 30 of $35.6 million, or 19 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $42.8 million, or 23 cents a share.

"MDU's wholly-owned Bitter Creek Pipelines, LLC has purchased a 50% interest in Whiting's recently-constructed gas processing plant and related assets in Belfield, Stark County, ND," D.A. Davidson analysts wrote in a May 22 report. "We believe the purchase will further diversify MDU into midstream gathering and fractionation of natural gas liquids for higher average realized prices of its Stark County production, and provide alternatives and opportunities for higher margin marketing of crude oil."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3%

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