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 or Stephanie Link.

Tomorrow, Thursday, February 19, 2015, 24 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.1% to 22.9%. All of these stocks can be found on our

stocks going ex-dividend

section of our

dividend calendar

.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Rentech Nitrogen Partners

Owners of

Rentech Nitrogen Partners

(NYSE:

RNF

) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 30 cents per share. At a price of $13.81 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 9.5%.

The average volume for Rentech Nitrogen Partners has been 132,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rentech Nitrogen Partners has a market cap of $490.2 million and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 32.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P. manufactures and sells nitrogen fertilizer products in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments, East Dubuque and Pasadena.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Rentech Nitrogen Partners

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. You can view the full

Rentech Nitrogen Partners Ratings Report

now.

Carlyle Group L P

At a price of $28.31 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 22.9%.

The average volume for Carlyle Group L P has been 509,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Carlyle Group L P has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 2.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

The Carlyle Group LP is an investment firm specializing in direct and fund of fund investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.69.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Carlyle Group L P

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and feeble growth in its earnings per share. You can view the full

Carlyle Group L P Ratings Report

now.

Assurant

Owners of

Assurant

(NYSE:

AIZ

) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 27 cents per share. At a price of $60.97 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.8%.

The average volume for Assurant has been 562,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Assurant has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 11.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Assurant, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides specialized insurance products and related services in North America, Latin America, Europe, and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.54.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Assurant

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full

Assurant 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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