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: Costco ( COST), Hershey ( HSY), Carnival ( CCL), Atmos Energy ( ATO), Equifax ( EFX), Nu Skin ( NUS), Robert Half International ( RHI), Scotts Miracle Gro ( SMG) and Talisman Energy ( TLM).
Costco The membership warehouse company is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings on May 24. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 87 cents a share on revenue of $22.13 billion. "Following COST's monthly sales data for the majority of Q3 and NRSE's retail sales data for the first week of May, we are raising our Q3 comp estimate to +5% (from +4%) and our EPS to $0.87 (from $0.85)," Piper Jaffray analysts wrote in a May 14 report. "We believe COST earnings will be supported by increase in the membership fee income as well as the approach of an inflection point in gross margin in the November quarter. In addition, the recent pullback leaves COST very attractive from a valuation standpoint, in our view. COST is currently trading at 17.6x FY13E EPS, net cash of $7.98/share, and below its 19.7x average over the last ten years. We recommend buying shares on the recent pullback and ahead of the quarter." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.2%
Carnival "We downgrade shares of Carnival to Neutral from Buy," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a May 4 report. "At current levels, the potential for either a capital allocation story or cost cutting program is low and would likely not be big enough to offset the uncertainty of future earnings and the state of the European consumer. We lower our price target to $32 from $36 and apply a target multiple of 14.5X (versus 15.6X prior). Since adding CCL to the Americas Buy List on September 29, 2010 the shares are down 16.1% vs. the S&P 500 up 21.6%. Over the last twelve months, CCL shares are down 16.2% vs. the S&P 500 up 2.6%." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.2%
Equifax The financial and marketing information solutions company reported on April 25 first-quarter earnings of $71.5 million, or 58 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $57.3 million, or 46 cents a share. "Reflecting a better 1H12 outlook, EFX updated its 2012 guidance to a range well ahead of LT growth targets," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in an April 26 report. "The company now expects 12 revenue growth of 10-12% (7-10% long-term) with implied adj. EPS growth of 12-15% (10-13%). The better than anticipated 1H stems from a stronger than expected mortgage contribution (added ~500bp to YoY growth in 1Q) and OCIS revenue growth of 24% (well ahead of 16% online volume growth reflecting positive pricing and favorable mix). While 2Q revenue growth should be comparable to 1Q (12-14%), we expect a deceleration over 2H12 reflecting tougher comps, lapping of pricing initiatives and acquisitions and a lower mortgage contribution." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.6%
Robert Half International The staffing company reported on April 24 first-quarter earnings of $48.3 million or 34 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $26.7 million, or 18 cents a share. "We are raising our Q212 revenue estimate by $12M to $1,045M, which implies 11.4% YoY revenue growth; this compares with prior $1,027M consensus, which we expect will be revised higher," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in an April 25 report. "We are raising our Q212 EPS estimate by $0.04 to $0.35 to account for the above revenue increase and more optimistic earnings growth assumptions; our estimate is slightly below prior consensus which we believe might be revised higher." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.1%
Talisman Energy The upstream oil and gas company reported first-quarter earnings on May 1 of $291 million, or 28 cents a share, a reversal from a year-earlier loss of $326 million, or 32 cents a share. "We believe Talisman shares are attractively valued at current levels, particularly for investors seeking exploration driven upside; however, they have proven to be a 'value trap' over the last 18 months as the company has struggled to meet targets in the North Sea and experienced delays in Columbia," BMO Capital Markets analysts wrote in a May 10 report. "In our opinion, the shares could be positively re-rated relative to the group if the company can deliver more consistent operating performance in the North Sea and a clear line of sight on future production growth in Columbia, which in our opinion is the only area in the company's portfolio that has the potential to provide meaningful oil production growth." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.7%