9 Ex-Dividend Stocks With Buy Ratings

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following stocks go ex-dividend Thursday, meaning an investor must purchase the shares Wednesday to qualify for the next dividend payment: UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), Allstate ( ALL), Nike ( NKE), Tidewater ( TDW), Suncor Energy ( TDW), Omnicom Group ( OMC), Imperial Oil ( IMO), Hubbell ( HUB.A) and Fluor ( FLR).

Each of the stocks received a buy rating from TheStreet Ratings.

UnitedHealth Group

The diversified health care company announced Tuesday that it acquired Preferred Care Partners and Medica HealthCare Plans, which operate mainly in Florida and focus on seniors.

"Combined, the two deals should add about 85,000 Medicare Advantage members (3.8% of UNH total MA members as of December 31) and 12,200 Medicaid members (0.3% of UNH) in Florida," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a report Tuesday. "We estimate that the two health plans have about $1.2 billion in combined annual revenue."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.2%

Rated "A+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin is about the same as last year.

UnitedHealth Group has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.69, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 9.55% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $71.67. The stock closed Tuesday at $55.84 and has risen 10.18% year to date.

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Allstate

The insurance company reported earlier this month fourth-quarter earnings of $724 million, or $1.43 a share, up from year-ago earnings of $296 million, or 50 cents.

"We learned that Esurance was primarily a non-standard auto writer, which makes sense given that its average annual premium base is roughly $1,200, a good deal higher than the average in the U.S.," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a Feb. 13 report. "Therefore, Allstate will focus on capitalizing on Esurance brand awareness (with the added branding that Esurance is now owned by Allstate) and repositioning its marketing focus towards 'standard' drivers that are self directed (e.g. Geico and Progressive's customer base)."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.8%

Rated "B (Buy)" at TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin increased from the prior year.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 1.79% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $36.49. The stock closed Tuesday at $31.51 and has risen 14.96% year to date.


Nike

The athletic-wear retailer is scheduled to report third-quarter results on March 22. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of $1.16 a share on revenue of $5.8 billion.

"Nike's Apparel outlook continues to be supported by the European Soccer Championships and Olympics as Nike will likely use the global exposure to commercialize their new uniform/apparel innovations," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report Monday. "In the US, the football category should also grow supported by Nike's new licensee agreement with the NFL for on-field apparel (outbid Reebok who previously held license) that begins shipping in April. Nike will also be leveraging their Pro Combat, compression, lightweight and moisture wicking technology from their Apparel into the uniforms, which we believe could significantly improve NFL licensed apparel trends benefitting both Nike and the Athletic Retailers."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.4%

Rated "A+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's second-quarter gross profit margin decreased from the previous year.

Nike has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.82, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the second quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 1.06% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $122.59. The stock closed Tuesday at $107.43 and has risen 11.48% year to date.

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Tidewater

The marine support services company reported earlier this month third-quarter earnings of $34.1 million, or 67 cents a share, down slightly from year-ago earnings of $34.4 million, or 67 cents.

"The deepwater platform supply vessel is the first market segment to show improvement, and day rates are improving considerably on new contracts," Dahlman Rose analysts wrote in a report Monday. "This should be a major benefit to Tidewater, which has about 50 deepwater PSVs. Moreover, it is building another 19 PSVs, and we believe that it may order ten additional platform supply vessels in the coming months. The company's average rate is $23,800, but we expect new fixtures to exceed $30,000 per day."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.6%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's third-quarter gross profit margin increased from the previous year.

Tidewater is extremely liquid. Its Quick Ratio is 2.30, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth was about the same as it was last year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $72.44. The stock closed Tuesday at $60.37 and has risen 22.45% year to date.


Suncor Energy

The integrated energy company reported last month fourth-quarter earnings of $1.43 billion, or 91 cents a share, up from year-ago earnings of $1.29 billion, or 82 cents.

"To that end, barring any large deterioration in oil prices, we believe a dividend increase will be announced around Suncor's Q1/12 earnings release (likely in May)," Canaccord analysts wrote in a Feb. 23 report. "Last year, the company increased the dividend by 10%; however, investors would like to see a larger increase this year, in our view, given the free cash flow potential of the company."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.2%

Rated "B- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin increased from the previous year.

Suncor Energy has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.96, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 5.11% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $42.15. The stock closed Tuesday at $36.45 and has risen 26.43% year to date.

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Omnicom Group

The advertising and marketing company reported earlier this month fourth-quarter earnings of $271.9 million, or 96 cents a share, up from year-ago earnings of $246.5 million, or 83 cents.

"New business has been strong, also boosting revenue outlook and with potential new wins of Chevy and Unilever (both in review) we could see further revenue in the pipeline," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a Feb. 16 report.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.5%

Rated "A (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was basically the same as last year.

Omnicom Group has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.72, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 2.12% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $56.35. The stock closed Tuesday at $48.86 and has risen 9.6% year to date.


Imperial Oil

The oil and natural gas company reported last month fourth-quarter earnings of $1 billion, or $1.18 a share, up from year-ago earnings of $799 million, or 94 cents.

"Imperial's Q4 2011 results were highlighted by continued strong results from Downstream and Cold Lake," First Energy Capital analysts wrote in a Feb. 2 report. "In 2012, we expect similarly strong results from Cold Lake, but weaker results from Downstream."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1%

Rated "A (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 19.18% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $57.03. The stock closed Tuesday at $48.04 and has risen 8% year to date.

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Hubbell

The electronics company reported last month fourth-quarter earnings of $70 million, or $1.17 a share, up from year-ago earnings of $49.7 million, or 81 cents.

"We are raising '12E EPS to $4.80 from $4.65 and setting '13E at $5.45. PT raised to $80 from $69, based on 16.7x our '12E EPS, in line with historical mid-cycle multiples," Oppenheimer analysts wrote in a Jan. 26 report. "Marketplace sales execution appears broad-based and opportunistic, and we are biased to 2012 revenue upside."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.2%

Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as it was last year.

Hubbell has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.98, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth was basically the same as it was the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $85.47. The stock closed Tuesday at $73.05 and has risen 22.06% year to date.


Fluor

The project management services company reported last week fourth-quarter earnings of $153 million, or 90 cents a share, up from year-ago earnings of $117 million, or 65 cents.

"As we expected, FLR maintained its conservative '12 EPS outlook of $3.40-3.80," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a Feb. 23 report. "The mid-point of the range was below consensus of $3.76 and our high-on-the- Street forecast of $4.25. We think that FLR has an earnings cushion early in the year, and maintain our estimates."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin decreased from the prior year.

Fluor has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.91, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 2.90% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $73.91. The stock closed Tuesday at $62.00 and has risen 23.38% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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