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5 Profitable S&P 500 Stocks With Ex-Dividend Dates Within Next 20 Days

If you're an investor who loves dividend stocks, then the ex-dividend date of a company is something to seriously consider. In order to receive payment of a dividend, an investor has to own the shares prior to and on this date. [Related Dividend List:  5 Dividend-Paying Technology Stocks Jim Cramer is Watching]

Building The List

With this in mind we began creating our stock list with a universe of  S&P 500 stocks with a market cap above $300M. Then we looked to see which of these have an ex dividend date in the next 20 days, and a dividend yield above 1%.

Then from that list we ran our screens that pick out companies that are more profitable compared to their industry average. To be specific, we judged profitability on the basis of trailing twelve month (TTM) margins:

TTM Gross Margin- This measures the percent change in trailing 12 month revenue and trailing 12 month cost. It is the percent of revenue left after paying expenses.  TTM Operating Margin - This is more of a focus on production expenses. In its simplest form, it is the revenue left over after paying variable costs associated with the production of a good.  TTM Pretax Margin - This is the company‚Äôs earnings before taxes incorporating all expenses.  Firms with higher margins than their industry peers indicate they are operating more efficiently.

The three profitability screens take general measures of productivity and efficiency and break them down into three subcategories.  When a company is outperforming the industry average by 5% in all three categories, this is considered bullish .

The List

Interactive Chart: Use the Compar-O-Matic to see changes in dividend yield for the stocks listed below:

 

1. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ( BMY): Develops, and delivers innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. Market cap at $66.36B, most recent closing price at $40.39. Ex-dividend date on 4/3/13.

TTM gross margin at 80.28% vs. industry average at 62.73%. TTM operating margin at 25.49% vs. industry average at 13.16%. TTM pretax margin at 13.28% vs. industry average at 7.07%.
 

2. JPMorgan Chase & Co. ( JPM): Provides various financial services worldwide. Market cap at $186.7B, most recent closing price at $48.78. Ex-dividend date on 4/3/13.

TTM gross margin at 86.42% vs. industry average at 64.2%. TTM operating margin at 49.39% vs. industry average at 35.58%. TTM pretax margin at 27.% vs. industry average at 17.44%.
 

3. Monsanto Co. ( MON): Provides agricultural products for farmers in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $54.29B, most recent closing price at $101.32. Ex-dividend date on 4/3/13.

TTM gross margin at 56.88% vs. industry average at 36.9%. TTM operating margin at 24.31% vs. industry average at 15.77%. TTM pretax margin at 23.19% vs. industry average at 13.38%.
 

4. Torchmark Corp. ( TMK): Provides individual life and supplemental health insurance products, and annuities to middle income households. Market cap at $5.54B, most recent closing price at $59.29. Ex-dividend date on 4/3/13.

TTM gross margin at 23.75% vs. industry average at 16.52%. TTM operating margin at 23.75% vs. industry average at 13.61%. TTM pretax margin at 21.32% vs. industry average at 11.93%.
 

5. U.S. Bancorp ( USB): Provides various banking and financial services in the United States. Market cap at $62.57B, most recent closing price at $33.57. Ex-dividend date on 3/26/13.

TTM gross margin at 81.89% vs. industry average at 74.24%. TTM operating margin at 51.52% vs. industry average at 45.65%. TTM pretax margin at 34.8% vs. industry average at 23.92%.
 

Interactive Chart: Use the Compar-O-Matic to see the one-year return on the stocks listed below:

( Written by Ryan Horch, KAPITALL Editor)

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