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: American Eagle Outfitters ( AEO) and Sempra Energy ( SRE). Each stock is rated buy at TheStreet Ratings.
American Eagle Outfitters The retailer reported earlier this month fourth-quarter earnings of $51.3 million, or 26 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $87 million, or 45 cents a share. "More specifics on a strategic plan will be laid out later this year, but CEO Hanson's focus to enhance profitability will be to concentrate on inventory productivity (about $100 million last year was seen as unproductive), as well as high-margin businesses including e-commerce and outlets," Sterne Agee analysts wrote in a March 14 report. "In outlets, AEO sees potential to double the store base from 62 currently, as well as building the component of 'made for' product. Ecommerce currently is 12% of total sales and will build to a higher number. While AEO is currently shipping to 77 countries, we believe there is potential to raise revenues overseas as well as domestically in this channel." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.7% Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin decreased from the previous year. American Eagle Outfitters has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.94, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs. In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 4.86% from the prior year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $19.28. The stock closed Tuesday at $16.79 and has risen 9.81% year to date.