Friday, Friday, December 18, 2015, 17 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 1.5% to 15.5%. All of these stocks can be found on our

stocks going ex-dividend

section of our

dividend calendar

.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Friday:

StoneCastle Financial

Owners of

StoneCastle Financial

(NASDAQ:

BANX

) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 35 cents per share. At a price of $16.75 as of 3:59 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 8.5%.

The average volume for StoneCastle Financial has been 21,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. StoneCastle Financial has a market cap of $107.5 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 15.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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FS Investment

Owners of

FS Investment

(NYSE:

FSIC

) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 22 cents per share. At a price of $9.60 as of 9:37 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 9.6%.

The average volume for FS Investment has been 742,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. FS Investment has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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FS Investment Corporation is a business development company specializing in investments in debt securities. It seeks to purchase interests in loans through secondary market transactions or directly from the target companies as primary market investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.15.

TheStreet Ratings rates

FS Investment

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income. You can view the full

FS Investment Ratings Report

now.

Nordson

Owners of

Nordson

(NASDAQ:

NDSN

) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 24 cents per share. At a price of $64.63 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.5%.

The average volume for Nordson has been 337,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Nordson has a market cap of $3.8 billion and is part of the industrial industry. Shares are down 16.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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Nordson Corporation engineers, manufactures, and markets products and systems for dispensing, applying, and controlling adhesives, coatings, polymers, sealants, biomaterials, and other fluids. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.43.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Nordson

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. You can view the full

Nordson Ratings Report

now.

More About Dividends:

One benefit of owning a stock is the potential that you will be paid a dividend. The distribution of dividend payments is another way for a company to share its profit with you. A dividend means that the company pays you a certain amount of money, either as a one-time payment or more commonly on a quarterly basis, for each share of stock you own.

Many times, dividends come at the expense of greater price appreciation, because the company is distributing its profits to shareholders rather than reinvesting the profits back into the growth of the company. However, companies that pay dividends can be very attractive to investors when they offer a steady stream of income. There are some important terms and dates an investor should be familiar with before purchasing any dividend-paying companies. Let's work through an example to help better explain some of these terms:

On March 1, ABC Widget Company has decided that because it holds excess cash and lacks investment opportunities, it would like to reward shareholders with a regular quarterly dividend payment. The date for this particular announcement is known as the declaration date. It is on this date that the company announces the specific dividend payment along with the holder-of-record date (aka record date) and the payment date. The company announces that a dividend payment of 25 cents per share will be payable March 31, 2012 (the payment date) to all shareholders of record at the close of business on March 16, 2012 (holder-of-record date). What does this all mean? Well the short story is that the company looks at its records on March 16 and anyone listed on the books as an owner of ABC Widget company will be eligible for the dividend payment (on March 31).

The one other important term to remember is the ex-dividend date. The ex-dividend date (typically two trading days before the holder-of-record date for U.S. securities) is the day in which a company begins trading without the dividend. In order to have a claim on a dividend, shares must be purchased no later than the last business day before the ex-dividend date. A company trading ex-dividend will have the upcoming dividend subtracted from the share price at the start of the trading day. Many times, the price of a stock will increase in anticipation of the upcoming dividend as the ex-dividend date approaches, yet will fall back by the amount of the dividend on the ex-dividend date.