CMC, MSM, TD

Commercial Metals Company

Owners of Commercial Metals Company (NYSE: CMC) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 12 cents per share. At a price of $14.51 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.2%.

The average volume for Commercial Metals Company has been 1.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Commercial Metals Company has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 1.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Commercial Metals Company engages in recycling, manufacturing, fabricating, and distributing steel and metal products, and related materials and services in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.72.

TheStreet Ratings rates Commercial Metals Company as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Commercial Metals Company Ratings Report now.

MSC Industrial Direct

Owners of MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE: MSM) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 30 cents per share. At a price of $75.94 as of 9:34 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.5%.

The average volume for MSC Industrial Direct has been 396,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. MSC Industrial Direct has a market cap of $3.8 billion and is part of the wholesale industry. Shares are up 1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a direct marketer and distributor of metalworking and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) products to industrial customers in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.12.

TheStreet Ratings rates MSC Industrial Direct 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, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full MSC Industrial Direct Ratings Report now.

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Owners of Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE: TD) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 78 cents per share. At a price of $80.18 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.9%.

The average volume for Toronto-Dominion Bank has been 595,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Toronto-Dominion Bank has a market cap of $74.5 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 4.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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The Toronto-Dominion Bank, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial and banking services in North America and internationally. The company's Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking segment offers various financial products and services to personal and small business customers. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.63.

TheStreet Ratings rates Toronto-Dominion Bank as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has experienced relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year. You can view the full Toronto-Dominion Bank 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.
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