GOOD, BGH, CPNO, APA

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.

Gladstone Commercial Corporation

Owners of Gladstone Commercial Corporation (NASDAQ: GOOD) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 13 cents per share. At a price of $20.11 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 7.3%.

The average volume for Gladstone Commercial Corporation has been 40,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Gladstone Commercial Corporation has a market cap of $233.3 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 14.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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Gladstone Commercial Corporation operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It engages in investing in and owning net leased industrial and commercial real properties, and making long-term industrial and commercial mortgage loans.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gladstone Commercial Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. 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 Gladstone Commercial Corporation Ratings Report now.

Babson Capital Global Short Duration High Y

Owners of Babson Capital Global Short Duration High Y (NYSE: BGH) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 17 cents per share. At a price of $25.00 as of 3:59 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 8%.

The average volume for Babson Capital Global Short Duration High Y has been 80,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Babson Capital Global Short Duration High Y has a market cap of $462.5 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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You can view the full Babson Capital Global Short Duration High Y Ratings Report now.

Copano Energy

Owners of Copano Energy (NASDAQ: CPNO) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 57 cents per share. At a price of $40.84 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 5.6%.

The average volume for Copano Energy has been 859,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Copano Energy has a market cap of $3.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 29.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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Copano Energy, L.L.C. provides midstream services to natural gas producers in the United States. It operates in three segments: Texas, Oklahoma, and Rocky Mountains.

TheStreet Ratings rates Copano Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full Copano Energy Ratings Report now.

Apache Corporation

Owners of Apache Corporation (NYSE: APA) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 20 cents per share. At a price of $72.05 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.1%.

The average volume for Apache Corporation has been 3.4 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Apache Corporation has a market cap of $29.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.26.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apache Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Apache Corporation 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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