"Corporations may pay part of their earnings as dividends to you and other shareholders as a return on your investment. These dividends, which are often declared quarterly, are usually in the form of cash, but may be paid as additional shares or scrip.

You may be able to reinvest cash dividends automatically to buy additional shares if the corporation offers a dividend reinvestment program (DRIP).

Dividends are taxable unless you own the investment through a tax-deferred account, such as an employer sponsored retirement plan or individual retirement account. That applies whether you reinvest them or not."

--

TheStreet.com Glossary

Related terms

:

Divided yield

Dividend payout ratio

How much do you know about investing in dividend stocks?

Get up to speed on the latest dividend plays with the following insights from

TheStreet.com

.

From

Dividend.com: TJX Slims Down

We had removed shares of

TJX

(TJX) - Get Report

from our "Recommended" list on Sept. 17, when the stock was trading at $34.22. The company has a 1.86% dividend yield, based on last night's

Nov. 10 closing stock price of $23.70. We are cautious on the retail sector and especially the clothing-related names here. There are some other companies that we are watching that may be better plays as prices come down. We'll keep investors posted on which they may be as we get more retail earnings reports later this week.

TJX is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars.

Read the full version of

Dividend.com: TJX Slims Down

, which includes takes on

CB Richard Ellis

(CBG)

,

General Growth Properties

( CGP) and

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

.

Get Your Coffee and a Dividend (Video, Nov. 11)

David Peltier, portfolio manager of the

Dividend Stock Advisor

, says companies like

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

are out but other fast-food coffee chains have the right price and the right dividend, such as

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

.

To watch the video, click the player below:

var config = new Array(); config<BRACKET>"videoId"</BRACKET> = 1896876471; config<BRACKET>"playerTag"</BRACKET> = "TSCM Embedded Video Player"; config<BRACKET>"autoStart"</BRACKET> = false; config<BRACKET>"preloadBackColor"</BRACKET> = "#FFFFFF"; config<BRACKET>"useOverlayMenu"</BRACKET> = "false"; config<BRACKET>"width"</BRACKET> = 265; config<BRACKET>"height"</BRACKET> = 255; config<BRACKET>"playerId"</BRACKET> = 1243645856; createExperience(config, 8);

Plus, don't miss

Carnival-Proof Your Portfolio

(Video, Nov. 3: Peltier dissects

Carnival's

(CCL) - Get Report

recent dividend cut and explains how to know if your favorite stocks are safe.)

Watch the video on TheStreet.com TV.

From

Dividend.com: Cardinal Healthy

:

Comcast

(CAH) - Get Report

reported a 38% increase in third-quarter earnings on a drop in capital spending and better cable pricing.

The company expects to exceed its

free cash flow

growth forecast of at least 20% in fiscal 2008. It reported operating cash flow of $3.24 billion, up 10%, while free cash flow rose by 77% to $928 million. Capital spending fell 14% to $1.3 billion.

The company was able to add 382,000 new Internet subscribers in the quarter, but that was down 19% from a year ago. Comcast ended the quarter with 14.7 million broadband customers.

The company said it may not complete its share buybacks for the fourth quarter and for next year as originally planned.

We have avoided shares of CMCSA since our early June coverage began, when the stock was trading at $21.94. The company has a low dividend yield of 1.47%, based on last night's closing stock price of $16.96. We think the stock would be attractive if the company raised its dividend to a more respectable level. For now, we don't see much excitement in owning the shares, as the company is trading at nearly 19

times

the low end of 2009

EPS

estimates.

Comcast is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars.

Read the full version of

Dividend.com: Cardinal Healthy

.

From

Cramer's 'Stop Trading!': Viva Verizon

:

"When you get a yield that is 6.5% to 7%,"

Jim Cramer said, "

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

suddenly becomes a

bond

with upside."

Read the full version of

Cramer's 'Stop Trading!': Viva Verizon

.

Image placeholder title

Plus, don't miss these dividend-focused videos on

TheStreet.com TV

:

Top Dividend Stock to Buy Now

(Oct. 25: David Peltier, portfolio manager of the

Dividend Stock Advisor Newsletter

, argues the importance of dividends and why one drug stock is a safe and attractive bet.),

Cramer: Where to Make Money Now

(Oct. 15: It's all about the dividend-payers, says Cramer.),

Old Investing Strategy Is in Again

(Oct. 14:

RealMoney

contributor, Dan Dicker, says to return to the market plan of the 1950s and 1960s. Look for dividend producers, not growth stocks, to make money.) and

Cramer: Shop for Yields

(Oct. 12: Cramer expects lower levels in the market and says to consider yield if investors are buying.)

From

Dividend.com: Linear Tech Short-Circuits

:

Integrated-circuit maker

Linear Technology

(LLTC)

shares are falling sharply today, after the company provided a forecast for the second quarter that was far below analyst expectations.

Management said that during the latter part of the September quarter and especially through early October, it had begun to see a decrease in new order bookings across all of the company's end-markets.

The new forecast for next quarter is for revenue to be down 10% to 20% from the first quarter. This would imply a revenue shortfall of potentially $70-$80 million.

We removed LLTC shares from our "Recommended" list back on August 22, when the stock was trading at $32.89. The company may end up testing the mid-to-high teens over the next few months, which would give it a valuation of 10-13 times 2009 estimates. At that point, a decent bottom may be finally priced in. The company has a 3.24% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $25.89.

Linear Technology is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars.

Read the full version of

Dividend.com: Linear Tech Short-Circuits

.

Plus, don't miss

Stockpickr's

Dividend Stocks of the Week

(Oct. 14),

Dividend.com: J&J a Good Play

(Oct. 14),

Dividend.com: WMI's Wise Move

(Oct. 13)

From

This Time, We're Braced for Wild Swings

:

I

Jim Cramer like

Chevron

(CVX) - Get Report

, and I wanted very much to buy it at $60-$61 because of that 4% yield. The stock then rallied to $70! That's just crazy: Chevron can't rally up 10 and stay up 10. The only reason Chevron can be down 7 and be a buy is that yield, I would not buy the others that are down like this, because they have no yield support.

Image placeholder title

I am not as sure of the non-dividend-payers, because they are more leaps of faith right now, and oil, the commodity, keeps going down.

Read the full version

This Time, We're Braced for Wild Swings

(

RealMoney

access required).

From

BofA Selling Stock, Cutting Dividend

:

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

said Monday it's cutting its quarterly dividend in half and aiming to raise $10 billion in order to shore up its capital base.

As for its capital plans, the bank said it's targeting a Tier 1 capital ratio of 8%. To achieve that, the company plans to sell up to $10 billion of common stock and slash its dividend to 32 cents a share from 64 cents. The dividend will be paid on Dec. 26 to shareholders of record Dec. 5.

Read the full version of

BofA Selling Stock, Cutting Dividend

.

From

Ride Out This Market With Dividend Stocks

:

Standard & Poor's

just announced that 138 stocks cut their dividends during the third quarter of 2008, which is a huge 557% increase over the 21 companies that decreased their dividends during the same quarter last year. Reported dividend increases fell 21.2% In addition, the number of dividend-raisers fell from 439 to 346 during the same periods.

Even so, during the last week, when the stock market had one of the biggest drops in years, there were still companies that increased their dividends.

Read the full version

Ride Out This Market With Dividend Stocks

.

From

Dividend.com: Acuity Brands Pressured

:

Lighting equipment maker

Acuity Brands

(AYI) - Get Report

just reported profit for the fiscal fourth quarter that fell 19% amid rising costs and weak demand in the residential housing market.

This is yet another company that is beginning to look cheaper from a

valuation

standpoint at nearly 10

times

this year's earnings.

The company's dividend of 1.41% -- based on last night's closing stock price of $36.81 -- is a bit low. We would again like to see the company build some support at these levels before we reconsider our ratings.

Acuity Brands is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com rating of 2.9 out of 5 stars.

Read the full version of

Dividend.com: Acuity Brands Pressured

.

From

Jim Cramer's 'Stop Trading!': Dividend Darlings

:

On Thursday's

Oct. 2 "Stop Trading!" segment on CNBC, Jim Cramer offered up a few dividend plays.

Image placeholder title

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

recently raised its dividend. Cramer called CEO Jeff Skinner "a good man" and said Skinner "would not raise the dividend knowing that things are falling off the cliff."

Read the full version of

Jim Cramer's 'Stop Trading!': Dividend Darlings

.

For more on how to pick stocks, visit

TheStreet.com's

Stock-Picking Training section

.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.