7 Ex-Dividend Stocks With Buy Ratings

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following stocks go ex-dividend Monday, meaning an investor must purchase the shares Friday to qualify for the next dividend payment: Halliburton ( HAL), Herbalife ( HLF), HSN ( HSNI), Praxair ( PX), Everest Re Group ( RE), Stanley Black & Decker ( SWK) and Westlake Chemical ( WLK).

Each of the was rated buy at TheStreet Ratings.

Halliburton

"We believe N. America (NA) will hold up much better than most expect and that international margins will surprise to upside as we go through 2012," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a Feb. 9 report. "We are realistic, however, that there will be little near-term evidence of this with activity transitioning out of gas plays in NA and seasonality internationally. This uncertainty may weigh on the stock near-term but we believe patience will be rewarded. HAL's leading market position in the US and international growth leave it well positioned and we rate it BUY."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1%

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

Halliburton has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.92, showing that the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 27.23% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $44.13. The stock closed Thursday at $36.50 and has risen 5.77% year to date.

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Herbalife

The personal care company reported on Feb. 21 fourth-quarter earnings of $105.4 million, or 91 cents a share, up from year-ago earnings of $86.3 million, or 73 cents.

"Visibility on continued momentum is high as distributor metrics are robust and accelerating," Canaccord analysts wrote in a Feb. 22 report. "New distributor growth is running well ahead of volume growth (+37%) and retention of sales leaders isrising (52% vs. 49% last year)."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.8%

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

Herbalife has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.68, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 12.13% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $87.37. The stock closed Thursday at $67.70 and has increased 31.02% year to date.


HSN

The private label merchandise company reported last week fourth-quarter earnings of $46.5 million, or 76 cents a share, up from year-ago earnings of $41.3 million, or 69 cents.

"While investors' conversations about HSNI tend to focus on the namesake HSN division, we believe Cornerstone is benefiting from an attractive demographic positioning and has a number of initiatives on deck for 2012 that could potentially help total company results to exceed our estimates," Piper Jaffray analysts wrote in a Feb. 23 report. "Cornerstone's four major initiatives for FY12 include upgrading its websites to increase engagement and conversion, further utilizing search optimization, enhancing customer email customization, and growth in the mobile and tablet channel."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.3%

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

HSN has average liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.30, which shows that the company can technically meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 23.76% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $48.48. The stock closed Thursday at $36.90 and has risen 1.77% year to date.

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Praxair

"Including headwinds from F/X (4%-5%), interest expense (1%) and pension(1%), Praxair still expects to deliver 5%-8% EPS growth in 2012, compared to our forecast of a range of 5%-13%," Jefferies analysts wrote in a Jan. 31 report. "To reflect higher-than-expected F/X headwinds, we are lowering 2012E $0.10 to $5.85, up 8%. We still expect Praxair to move into the sweet spot of its cycle in 2013-2015, and we set 2013E at $6.70."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2%

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

Praxair has weak liqiuidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.74, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 5.24% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $127.11. The stock closed Thursday at $109.80 and has increased 2.71% year to date.


Everest Re Group

The insurance company reported in January fourth-quarter net catastrophe losses of about $245 million; contributing were the floods in Thailand.

"The stock trading at 80% of book value likely discounts risk of adverse development on Thai losses, reserve risk, management transition, earnings volatility and skepticism about future earnings estimates," Evercore Partners wrote in a Feb. 16 report. "Accordingly, there could be upside to our $100 price target if management hits its profitability target. We maintain our Equal-Weight rating despite RE's low price to stated book valuation vs. peers, since the stock is trading in line with peers if we adjust peers' book value for excess reserves."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.2%

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

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 3.37% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $103.21. The stock closed Thursday at $89.17 and has risen 6.04% year to date.

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Stanley Black & Decker

The power tool company reported in January fourth-quarter earnings of $165.3 million, or $1.01 a share, up from year-ago earnings of $137. 8 million, or 83 cents.

"Following SWK's 4Q conference call, we provide the following key takeaways," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a Jan. 27 report. "First, we believe the company's organic sales growth guidance of 1-2%, inclusive of BDK revenue synergies, is reasonable. Moreover, and positively, in our view, SWK remains proactive from a cost standpoint, offsetting incremental headwinds from inflation and currency with $150 million of incremental cost saving initiatives."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.2%

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

Stanley Black & Decker has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.75, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth remained about the same as the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $87.03. The stock closed Thursday at $76.79 and has increased 13.59% year to date.


Westlake Chemical

The chemicals company reported on Feb. 21 fourth-quarter earnings of $26.4 million, or 40 cents a share, below year-ago earnings of $84.1 million, or $1.26 a share.

"Given the drop off in ethane prices due to the heavy slate of H1 2012 cracker turnarounds and warmer winter weather, we are increasing our 2012 estimate from $3.75 to $4.50, and introducing 2013E of $4.75," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a Feb. 22 report.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.5%

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

Westlake Chemical is extremely liquid. Its Quick Ratio is 3.38, which shows that the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 16.69% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $66.99. The stock closed Thursday at $60.02 and has risen 49.16% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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