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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer.

Monday, Monday, March 23, 2015, 7 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0% to 8.9%. All of these stocks can be found on our

stocks going ex-dividend

section of our

dividend calendar

.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday:

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 $10.02 as of 10:02 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 8.9%.

The average volume for FS Investment has been 883,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. FS Investment has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 0.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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The company has a P/E ratio of 9.86.

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TheStreet Recommends

Piedmont Natural Gas

Owners of

Piedmont Natural Gas

(NYSE:

PNY

) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 33 cents per share. At a price of $37.17 as of 10:01 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.5%.

The average volume for Piedmont Natural Gas has been 334,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Piedmont Natural Gas has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 6.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc., an energy services company, distributes natural gas in the United States. It operates in three segments: Regulated Utility, Regulated Non-Utility Activities, and Unregulated Non-Utility Activities. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.31.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Piedmont Natural Gas

as a

buy

. The company's strongest point has been its expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. You can view the full

Piedmont Natural Gas Ratings Report

now.

Portland General Electric

Owners of

Portland General Electric

(NYSE:

POR

) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 28 cents per share. At a price of $36.44 as of 10:01 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.1%.

The average volume for Portland General Electric has been 596,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Portland General Electric has a market cap of $2.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 3.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Portland General Electric Company, an integrated electric utility, engages in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution, and retail sale of electricity in the state of Oregon. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.74.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Portland General Electric

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full

Portland General Electric 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.

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