Thursday, Thursday, January 28, 2016, 34 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.5% to 45.7%. All of these stocks can be found on our

stocks going ex-dividend

section of our

dividend calendar

.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Thursday:

Dorchester Minerals

Owners of

Dorchester Minerals

(NASDAQ:

DMLP

) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 20 cents per share. At a price of $10.04 as of 3:59 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 7.9%.

The average volume for Dorchester Minerals has been 89,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Dorchester Minerals has a market cap of $310.7 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 4.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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Dorchester Minerals, L.P. engages in the acquisition, ownership, and administration of producing and nonproducing natural gas and crude oil royalty, net profits, and leasehold interests in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.88.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Dorchester Minerals

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and deteriorating net income. You can view the full

Dorchester Minerals Ratings Report

now.

Western Gas Equity Partners

Owners of

Western Gas Equity Partners

(NYSE:

WGP

) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 40 cents per share. At a price of $27.88 as of 9:37 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 5.8%.

The average volume for Western Gas Equity Partners has been 367,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Western Gas Equity Partners has a market cap of $6.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 21.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Western Gas Equity Partners, LP engages in gathering, processing, compressing, treating, and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids, and crude oil in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.78.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Western Gas Equity Partners

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and generally higher debt management risk. You can view the full

Western Gas Equity Partners Ratings Report

now.

Bank of Montreal

Owners of

Bank of Montreal

(NYSE:

BMO

) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 63 cents per share. At a price of $51.67 as of 9:37 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 5%.

The average volume for Bank of Montreal has been 702,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Bank of Montreal has a market cap of $32.3 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 8.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Bank of Montreal provides diversified financial services primarily in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.99.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Bank of Montreal

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. You can view the full

Bank of Montreal 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.