NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The following stocks go ex-dividend Friday, meaning an investor must purchase the shares Thursday to qualify for the next dividend payment:

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

,

Barnes Group

(B) - Get Report

,

Great Plains Energy

(GXP)

,

KeyCorp

(KEY) - Get Report

,

Meredith

(MDP) - Get Report

and

Nordson

(NDSN) - Get Report

.

Each of the stocks was rated a buy at

TheStreet Ratings

.

See the complete

Dividend Calendar

.

Johnson & Johnson

The consumer goods and pharmaceutical company announced Tuesday that Alex Gorsky will become CEO on April 26. Gorsky, the company's executive committee vice chairman, is replacing Bill Weldon who is

retiring

.

"The move comes a touch earlier than we expected, but JNJ has typically made these announcements in conjunction with the annual shareholders' meeting, and Mr. Gorsky has been one of two well known internal leaders being groomed to potentially succeed Mr. Weldon for over a year," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report Tuesday. "The other internal candidate - Sheri S. McCoy - will continue on as Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and will continue to lead JNJ's Pharma and Consumer Groups. From a stock picking perspective we view this move as more or less expected. The transition should be smooth and we would not expect any significant change in strategic direction for JNJ."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield:

3.5%

Rated "B (Buy)" at TheStreet Ratings:

The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin decreased from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings'

price target is

$74.98

. The stock closed Wednesday at $65 and has declined less than 1% year to date.

Barnes Group

The logistical services company reported last week fourth-quarter earnings of $100,000, or break-even on a per-share basis, down from year-ago earnings of $11.5 million, or 21 cents a share.

"We maintain our HOLD rating on Barnes shares, noting the overall story appears to be relatively balanced with broad strength evident in aerospace OEM and aftermarket and improved outlook for North American vehicle production," KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in a report Tuesday. "The Company maintains an attractive aerospace business, with sizable OEM content on key platforms such as the B777-300ER, B787, and Barnes 747-8/8F as well as potentially the A350. Top-line growth in BDNA appeared to decelerate a bit during the 4Q (+4%), though appears to be generating much more consistent profitability. We believe the risk-reward profile in Barnes is fairly balanced at the present time."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield:

1.4%

Rated "B+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings:

The company's third-quarter gross profit margin was basically the same as it was last year.

Barnes Group has average liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.24, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 7.86% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings'

price target is

$34.73

. The stock closed Wednesday at $27.59 and has risen 14.43% year to date.

Great Plains Energy

The electric utility announced Tuesday that CEO Michael Chesser is retiring as of May 31. Chesser will be succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Terry Bassham.

"The story of 2012 will be GXP's efforts to improve the company's earned ROE through rate cases and cost management. Rate cases are expected to be filed in Missouri within the next few weeks, and GXP is continuing to consider a Kansas rate case in 2012," Wunderlich Securities analysts wrote in a Feb. 2 report. "We expect the company will file a KS case in 2Q. Our 2012/2013 EPS estimates are unchanged at $1.50/$1.75. We continue to have a Hold rating on the stock, but note it has underperformed since November."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield:

4.1%

Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings:

The company's third-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as last year's.

Great Plains Energy has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.20, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 2.32% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings'

price target is

$24.59

. The stock closed Wednesday at $20.81 and has fallen 4.45% year to date.

KeyCorp

The bank reported last month fourth-quarter earnings of $194 million, or 20 cents a share, down from year-ago earnings of $279 million, or 22 cents.

"Under Basel 3, some banks will need to build capital/de-lever, while some havecapital well in excess of likely required levels," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a Feb. 16 report. "Given this, one could argue some banks are under earning (i.e. those with excess capital), while some are over earning (those without enough capital)."

To that end, Deutsche Bank analysts anticipate that money centers will be more expensive than regional banks.

"Other regionals (assets $50-99b): Capital excess could boost 2013e by 18%Biggest boost: KEY (+43%), CMA (+27%), and HBAN (+18%)," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in the report.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield:

1.5%

Rated "B (Buy)" at TheStreet Ratings:

The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was basically the same as the prior year.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 10.90% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings'

price target is

$9.23

. The stock closed Wednesday at $7.89 and increased 2.6% year to date.

Meredith

The media company reported last month second-quarter earnings of $31.6 million, or 70 cents a share, down from year-ago earnings of $40.6 million, or 89 cents.

"According to MIN data released Friday after the close, industry ad pageswere -3% for March, the best month since last July, driven by increases atmany women's fashion/beauty titles during that category's most importantmonth," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a Feb. 20 report. "Industry trend (on fiscal basis): 2Q11 +1%, 3Q11 -6%, 4Q11 -7%, Feb -7%, March -3%. A step in the right direction for sure, although we continue think the best case for magazines in 2012 is flat and any growth in this media is likely to come from share gains, not channel growth."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield:

4.5%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings:

The company's second-quarter gross profit margin was basically the same as a year ago.

Meredith has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.61, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the second quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 7.12% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings'

price target is

$39.34

. The stock closed Wednesday at $33.77 and has risen 3.43% year to date.

Nordson

The surface treatment product maker is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on Thursday. Analysts, on average, expect profit of 60 cents a share on revenue of $274.16 million.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield:

1%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings:

The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was basically the same as last year.

Nordson has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.60, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 13.11% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings'

price target is

$62.98

. The stock closed Wednesday at $51.86 and has risen 25.93% year to date.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

>To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Alexandra Zendrian

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

tips@thestreet.com

.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

Alexandra Zendrian

.