8 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: Abbott Laboratories ( ABT), Buckle ( BKE), Freeport-McMoran ( FCX), Foot Locker ( FL), General Dynamics ( GD), Goldcorp ( GG), Morningstar ( MORN) and Yum Brands ( YUM).

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

Abbott Laboratories

The health care company is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings on April 17. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 99 cents a share on revenue of $9.35 billion.

"Due to the release of the ABT abstract on HCV yesterday and due to the improvement in the valuations of ABT's comps we are updating our sum of the parts valuation model for ABT today," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in an April 5 report. "On the encouraging co-pilot data we are increasing the earnings multiple we assume for ABT's pharma business to 11 from 10. We continue to use a 14 multiple for the diversified medical products business based on our sum of the parts of the four businesses within that division that we show below. And we are now basing our target multiples on 2013 estimates. As a result our PO moves from $57 to $65."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.3%

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

Abbott Laboratories has average liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.02, which shows the company can technically meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 9.16% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $75.25.

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Buckle

The retailer reported on April 5 that same-store sales in March rose 6.4%. Net sales increased 8.9% to $105.5 million.

"BKE reported March comps up 6.4% versus 8.4% LY, which missed our 8% estimate and Retail Metrics consensus of 7.8%," Sterne Agee analysts wrote in an April 5 report. "Total net sales increased 8.9% to $105.5 million. We believe warm weather in March led to a slower growth rate in denim, which gained mid-singles for both genders compared to double digit gains earlier. Last year, March denim sales grew strong double digits for guys but mid-singles for gals. However, average price points rose for both genders, suggesting price was not a factor and that the slower growth rate was likely across the board (both private label and brands)."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.7%

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

Buckle has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.83, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 5.05% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $53.93.


Freeport-McMoRan

The mining company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on April 18. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 84 cents a share on $4.57 billion in revenue.

"We continue to believe that a forced sell down of FCX's Grasberg ownership to 49% or less is unlikely," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in an April 4 report. "We believe this is being used as leverage to increase royalties (currently at 3.5% for copper, 1% for gold) and potentially taxes (e.g. Zambia plans to increase its effective tax rate from 30% to 45% based on copper prices) in exchange for an extension to Grasberg's mining lease after 2021."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.3%

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

Freeport-McMoRan is very liquid. Its Quick Ratio is 2.03, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 25.09% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $43.66.

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Foot Locker

The retailer reported last month fourth-quarter earnings of $81 million, or 53 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $57 million, or 36 cents.

"Following meetings with management, we believe lightweight running continues to drive above forecast comps at FL, led by key Nike styles (including Free) and no signs of customer resistance to higher price points," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a March 23 report. "The outlook for footwear comps thru 2012 should be supported by: (1) expanding offerings of higher price point Nike Free and Lunar styles; (2) the anticipated launch of Nike Flyknit and Nike+ Bball sneakers in Aug; (3) upticking momentum in Bball that should also benefit from an extra 2 months of the NBA season this yr (vs a delayed season in 2011); and (4) a potential acceleration in Europe as FL benefits from recent improving access to Nike Free and Lunar inventory as well as the upcoming Olympics/EuroCup."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.3%

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

Foot Locker has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.64, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 4.19% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $41.21.


General Dynamics

The defense company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on April 24. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of $1.71 a share on revenue of $7.97 billion.

"We are adjusting our EPS estimates for General Dynamics to reflect the ongoingfiscal pressures facing the Army, "Jefferies analysts wrote in a March 5 report. "Near-term funding constraints are likely to limit EPS growth for the company. We continue to recommend the shares, but recognize that the company is facing a challenging operating environment. Our EPS Estimates for 2012 and 2013 have been revised downward to $7.40 and $7.70 from $7.45 and $8.00."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.8%

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

General Dynamics has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.64, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

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

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $82.93.

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Goldcorp

The precious metal company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on April 25. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 53 cents a share on $1.44 billion in revenue.

"GG reiterated its 2012 production guidance of 2.6Mozs at cash costs of $550-600/oz and five year growth profile of 70%," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a March 30 report. "Gold production will ramp throughout the year with the Penasquito ramping up, and PV coming on stream in Q4/12. GG is currently guiding for 2012 capexof $2.6B and indicated similar for 2013, declining thereafter."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.3%

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

Goldcorp is very liquid. Its Quick Ratio is 3.00, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 5.33% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $47.12.


Morningstar

The investment research company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on April 25. Analysts, on average, anticipate profit of 51 cents a share on $163.9 million in revenue.

"Morningstar has mostly halted its acquisition program as it seeks to integrate what it has acquired," Great Lakes Review analysts wrote in a March 9 report. "With the shares trading at 26.7x our 12-month forward EPS estimate, or 1.78x of our 15% projected 3-to-5 year EPS growth rate, our rating is HOLD."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.6%

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

Morningstar is very liquid. Its Quick Ratio is 2.18, which shows that the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 9.61% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $71.48.

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Yum Brands

The restaurant company is scheduled to report its first-quarter results on April 17. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 73 cents a share on revenue of $2.7 billion.

"We now rank SBUX as our favorite given high visibility for above average 20%+ earnings growth through C14, followed by MCD based on the strength of the US business offsetting volatility in Europe, and our former favorite YUM third, now trading at a near record (even on raised US driven estimates) 400bp multiple premium on C13E to MCD and now above $70, within our $69- $79 sum-of-the-parts analysis," JPMorgan analysts wrote in March 23 report.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.6%

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

Yum Brands has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.67, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 15.67% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $90.66.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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