10 Ex-Dividend Stocks With Buy Ratings

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following stocks go ex-dividend Wednesday, meaning an investor must purchase the shares Tuesday to qualify for the next dividend payment: Kimberly-Clark ( KMB), Johnson Controls ( JCI), Coach ( COH), Gannett ( GCI), Brinker International> ( EAT), CME Group ( CME), Occidental Petroleum ( OXY), Travelers ( TRV), WellPoint ( WLP) and Canadian National Railway ( CNI).

Each of the stocks was rated buy at TheStreet Ratings.

See the complete Dividend Calendar.

Kimberly-Clark

The health care products company announced on Feb. 28 that it increased its quarterly dividend to 74 cents a share from 70 cents.

"Offsetting inflation with pricing and cutting costs through disciplined andinstitutionalized savings programs, the company continues to hit singles and doubles while sweeping cash each year to support high dividend yield and active share repurchase program," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a Feb. 23 report. "Still, valuation is somewhat extended relative to mid-single digit EPS growth algorithm. While shares remain a solid income option, we maintain our Hold rating."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 4.1%

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

Kimberly-Clark has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.62, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 11.28% from last year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $86.70. The stock closed Monday at $72.66 and has fallen 1.22% year to date.

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Johnson Controls

"JCI, despite being among the highest quality automotive suppliers, appears materially undervalued at current levels," Gabelli analysts wrote in a Feb. 28 report. "We believe this disconnect between price and value is primarily attributable to near term choppiness in the company's automotive and battery segments; issues that we see abating during the second half of the company's fiscal year, positioning the company for significant margin improvement in 2013. JCI currently trades at over a 30% discount to our 2013 PMV estimate of $48 per share."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.2%

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

Johnson Controls has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.71, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the first quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 6.76% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $38.59. The stock closed Monday at $32.71 and has risen 4.64% year to date.


Coach

The accessories retailer's stock hit a 52-week high on Friday of $77.30. The stock's 52-week low of $45.70 was set on Aug. 19.

"COH's outlet channel clearly was very strong through the great recession and has remained so in the recovery," Jefferies analysts wrote in a Feb. 14 report. "However, we are also encouraged by mgmt's tone around better trends in the full price business, helped by improved conversion (as COH continues its repositioning of the women's business), expansion of the men's biz and online."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.2%

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

Coach has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.60, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the second quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 7.49% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $88.63. The stock closed Monday at $76.17 and has risen 24.79% year to date.

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Gannett

The media company's USA Today launched a new iPod Touch and iPhone app on Monday.

"GCI laid out a plan to lift total revenues 2-4% annually through 2015, including publishing increases of 0-2% over the same period," Gabelli analysts wrote in a Feb. 29 report. "Revenue enhancements via a 30-100% price increase for single copies of papers, a metered model for digital content and new products are expected to lift operating earnings about $100 million per year."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 5.5%

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

Gannett has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.97, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 7.58% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $17.08. The stock closed Monday at $15.05 and has risen 12.57% year to date.


Brinker International

The restaurant company's stock hit a 52-week high on Feb. 16 of $28.60. The stock's 52-week low of $19.50 was set on Sept. 12.

"In 2H12, we expect Chili's same store sales to benefit from a shift to back to positive menu mix as the brand laps the introduction of the highly successful Lunch Combo, pricing at the high end of the 1-2% guided range for the year and management's guidance of continued positive traffic trends, KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in a Jan. 24 report. "Additionally, we have been impressed by share repurchase activity that consistently beats our expectations, even as we expect share repurchases to add $0.08-$0.10 (5%+) to EPS in the coming year."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.3%

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

Brinker International has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.39, which demonstrates the company's lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the second quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 30.11% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $33.11. The stock closed Monday at $27.72 and has risen 3.59% year to date.

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CME Group

"Greatest in near- to intermediate-term remains expansion of core platform globally, with a meaningful focus on Asia," Evercore Partners wrote in a March 4 report. "Co-location, index services, and over-the-counter clearing fall into 2nd tier of the opportunity set."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.1%

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

CME Group has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.15, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 7.43% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $334.42. The stock closed Monday at $281.02 and has risen 15.33% year to date.


Occidental Petroleum

The oil and gas company raised its annual dividend on Feb. 9 to $2.16 a share from $1.84.

"We believe the company's 2% dividend yield and high single-digit production growth rate should make it attractive to most large-cap long-only investors," Sterne Agee analysts wrote in a Feb. 17 report. "We also believe there is upside potential to the company's 2012 production and capital spending guidance in a $100/b crude oil environment."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.1%

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

Occidental Petroleum has average liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.15, which shows that the company can technically meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 15.81% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $121.12. The stock closed Monday at $103.52 and has risen 10.48% year to date.

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Travelers

The insurance company reported in January fourth-quarter earnings of $618 million, or $1.51 a share, down from year-ago earnings of $894 million, or $1.95 a share.

"Travelers has started to aggressively raise rates in both personal and commercial lines, which should drive premium revenues higher," Drexel Hamilton analysts wrote in a Feb. 1 report. "Most importantly, those rising rates appear to be sticking, as business retention rates have not changed materially."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.8%

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

In the fourth-quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 3.91% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $67.48. The stock closed Monday at $58.50 and has fallen 1.13% year to date.


WellPoint

The health benefits company announced on March 5 that Rajamannar Madabhushi was named the company's chief transformation officer. Before coming to WellPoint, Madabhushi was Humana's ( HUM) chief innovation and marketing officer.

"Our Outperform rating is based on our view that WLP shares are undervalued and that there is upside to 2012 guidance/estimates if utilization remains soft," Leerink Swan analysts wrote in a Feb. 24 report. "However, WLP has struggled with growing its Medicare/Medicaid platforms, and we have more modest long-term expectations for the company compared to some of its peers."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.7%

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

WellPoint has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.57, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 2.2% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $85.08. The stock closed Monday at $65.19 and has fallen 1.6% year to date.

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Canadian National Railway

The rail company announced on Feb. 17 that it anticipates investing C$1.75 billion this year to upgrade and maintain its rail network.

"We continue to believe that CN will outperform the industry's carload growth and sustain earnings growth of 10%+ per year based on a strong management team and the various growth opportunities that lie ahead for CN," Desjardins Capital Markets analysts wrote in a Feb. 13 report. "We believe the stock is attractive at current levels and recommend investors buy CN's shares. While we are confident that CP can improve its operating ratio significantly, we are of the view that this potential is largely priced into CP's shares at current levels. Based on CN's habit of under-promising and over-delivering, we view the current price as a buying opportunity."

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.

Canadian National Railway has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.87, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 5.35% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $97.50. The stock closed Monday at $76.77 and has declined 2.28% year to date.

Find out which stocks have the highest dividend yields.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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