4 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: TAXI, AL, TSS, XEL

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 19, 2013, 12 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.3% to 16.6%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Medallion Financial

Owners of Medallion Financial (NASDAQ: TAXI) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 22 cents per share. At a price of $13.04 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 6.6%.

The average volume for Medallion Financial has been 71,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Medallion Financial has a market cap of $285.9 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 10.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Medallion Financial Corp., through its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty finance company in the United States. The company engages in originating, acquiring, and servicing loans that finance taxicab medallions and various types of commercial businesses. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.01. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Medallion Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Medallion Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. You can view the full Medallion Financial Ratings Report now.

Air Lease

Owners of Air Lease (NYSE: AL) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 3 cents per share. At a price of $29.14 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.3%.

The average volume for Air Lease has been 448,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Air Lease has a market cap of $2.9 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 36.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Air Lease Corporation engages in the purchase and leasing of commercial aircraft to airlines worldwide. The company also provides fleet management and remarketing services. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.61. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Air Lease a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Air Lease as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been very high debt management risk by most measures. You can view the full Air Lease Ratings Report now.

Total System Services

Owners of Total System Services (NYSE: TSS) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 10 cents per share. At a price of $24.01 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.6%.

The average volume for Total System Services has been 1.8 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Total System Services has a market cap of $4.6 billion and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are up 13.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Total System Services, Inc. provides payment processing and other services to card-issuing and merchant acquiring institutions in the United States and internationally. It operates through three segments: North America Services, International Services, and Merchant Services. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.95. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Total System Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Total System Services as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year, reasonable valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Total System Services Ratings Report now.

Xcel Energy

Owners of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 27 cents per share. At a price of $28.99 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.7%.

The average volume for Xcel Energy has been 2.9 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Xcel Energy has a market cap of $14.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 9.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Xcel Energy Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in the United States. It operates through Regulated Electric Utility, Regulated Natural Gas Utility, and All Other segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.69. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Xcel Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Xcel Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Xcel Energy 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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