3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: IR, CI, WMT

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Tomorrow, March 8, 2013, 6 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.1% to 2.8%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Ingersoll-Rand

Owners of Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE: IR) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 21 cents per share. At a price of $53.52 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.6%.

The average volume for Ingersoll-Rand has been 2.0 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Ingersoll-Rand has a market cap of $15.8 billion and is part of the industrial industry. Shares are up 11.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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Ingersoll-Rand Public Limited Company engages in the design, manufacture, sale, and service of a diverse portfolio of industrial and commercial products in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.13. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Ingersoll-Rand a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ingersoll-Rand as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Ingersoll-Rand Ratings Report now.

Cigna

Owners of Cigna (NYSE: CI) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 4 cents per share. At a price of $59.72 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.1%.

The average volume for Cigna has been 1.9 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Cigna has a market cap of $17.0 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 11.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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CIGNA Corporation, a health services organization, provides insurance and related products and services in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.59. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Cigna a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cigna as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. You can view the full Cigna Ratings Report now.

Wal-Mart Stores

Owners of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 47 cents per share. At a price of $73.26 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.6%.

The average volume for Wal-Mart Stores has been 9.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $246.6 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 7.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. It operates retail stores, restaurants, discount stores, supermarkets, supercenters, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, apparel stores, Sam's Clubs, and neighborhood markets, as well as walmart.com; and samsclub.com. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.69. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Wal-Mart Stores Ratings Report now.

More About Dividends:

One benefit of owning a stock is the potential that you will be paid a dividend. The distribution of dividend payments is another way for a company to share its profit with you. A dividend means that the company pays you a certain amount of money, either as a one-time payment or more commonly on a quarterly basis, for each share of stock you own.

Many times, dividends come at the expense of greater price appreciation, because the company is distributing its profits to shareholders rather than reinvesting the profits back into the growth of the company. However, companies that pay dividends can be very attractive to investors when they offer a steady stream of income. There are some important terms and dates an investor should be familiar with before purchasing any dividend-paying companies. Let's work through an example to help better explain some of these terms:

On March 1, ABC Widget Company has decided that because it holds excess cash and lacks investment opportunities, it would like to reward shareholders with a regular quarterly dividend payment. The date for this particular announcement is known as the declaration date. It is on this date that the company announces the specific dividend payment along with the holder of record date (aka record date) and the payment date. The company announces that a dividend payment of 25 cents per share will be payable March 31, 2012 (the payment date) to all shareholders of record at the close of business on March 16, 2012 (holder of record date). What does this all mean? Well the short story is that the company looks at its records on March 16 and anyone listed on the books as an owner of ABC Widget company will be eligible for the dividend payment (on March 31).

The one other important term to remember is the ex-dividend date. The ex-dividend date (typically two trading days before the holder of record date for U.S. securities) is the day in which a company begins trading without the dividend. In order to have a claim on a dividend, shares must be purchased no later than the last business day before the ex-dividend date. A company trading ex-dividend will have the upcoming dividend subtracted from the share price at the start of the trading day. Many times, the price of a stock will increase in anticipation of the upcoming dividend as the ex-dividend date approaches, yet will fall back by the amount of the dividend on the ex-dividend date.

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.
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