4 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: MITT, MFA, LUK, CNQ

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 14, 2013, 18 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.2% to 12.2%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

AG Mortgage Investment

Owners of AG Mortgage Investment (NYSE: MITT) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 80 cents per share. At a price of $26.41 as of 9:37 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 12.2%.

The average volume for AG Mortgage Investment has been 395,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. AG Mortgage Investment has a market cap of $718.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 12.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust, focuses on investing, acquiring, and managing a portfolio of residential mortgage assets, and other real estate-related securities and financial assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 3.64. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate AG Mortgage Investment a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AG Mortgage Investment as a sell. The area that we feel has been the company's primary weakness has been its feeble growth in its earnings per share. You can view the full AG Mortgage Investment Ratings Report now.

MFA Financial

Owners of MFA Financial (NYSE: MFA) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 50 cents per share. At a price of $9.53 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 8.4%.

The average volume for MFA Financial has been 3.2 million shares per day over the past 30 days. MFA Financial has a market cap of $3.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 17.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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MFA Financial, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), invests in residential agency and non-agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The company has a P/E ratio of 11.41. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate MFA Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MFA Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income. You can view the full MFA Financial Ratings Report now.

Leucadia National Corporation

Owners of Leucadia National Corporation (NYSE: LUK) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 6 cents per share. At a price of $26.89 as of 9:34 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.9%.

The average volume for Leucadia National Corporation has been 2.1 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Leucadia National Corporation has a market cap of $6.5 billion and is part of the food & beverage industry. Shares are up 13% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Leucadia National Corporation engages in beef processing, manufacturing, gaming entertainment, real estate activities, medical product development, and winery operations in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.73.

TheStreet Ratings rates Leucadia National Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Leucadia National Corporation Ratings Report now.

Canadian Natural Resources

Owners of Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE: CNQ) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 12 cents per share. At a price of $31.28 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.5%.

The average volume for Canadian Natural Resources has been 3.2 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Canadian Natural Resources has a market cap of $34.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Canadian Natural Resources Limited engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, marketing, and sale of crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and natural gas. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.13. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Canadian Natural Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Canadian Natural Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. You can view the full Canadian Natural Resources 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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