ERF, DK, SPRD, MA

Enerplus

Owners of Enerplus (NYSE: ERF) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 9 cents per share. At a price of $14.69 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 6.9%.

The average volume for Enerplus has been 924,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Enerplus has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 13.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Enerplus Corporation, together with subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and Canada.

TheStreet Ratings rates Enerplus as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been an overall disappointing return on equity. You can view the full Enerplus Ratings Report now.

Delek US Holdings

Owners of Delek US Holdings (NYSE: DK) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 10 cents per share. At a price of $27.21 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.1%.

The average volume for Delek US Holdings has been 752,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Delek US Holdings has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Delek US Holdings, Inc. operates as an integrated downstream energy company that operates in petroleum refining, logistics, and convenience store retailing businesses. The company operates in three segments: Refining, Logistics, and Retail. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.54.

TheStreet Ratings rates Delek US Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels 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 Delek US Holdings Ratings Report now.

Spreadtrum Communications

Owners of Spreadtrum Communications (NASDAQ: SPRD) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 10 cents per share. At a price of $26.28 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.4%.

The average volume for Spreadtrum Communications has been 1.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Spreadtrum Communications has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the electronics industry. Shares are up 50.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company, engages in the design, development, and marketing of mobile chipset platforms for smartphones, feature phones, and other consumer electronics products in Hong Kong, Mailand China, and others. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.58.

TheStreet Ratings rates Spreadtrum Communications as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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 Spreadtrum Communications Ratings Report now.

MasterCard Incorporated

Owners of MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 60 cents per share. At a price of $582.17 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.4%.

The average volume for MasterCard Incorporated has been 597,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. MasterCard Incorporated has a market cap of $68.2 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 18.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

MasterCard Incorporated, together with its subsidiaries, provides transaction processing and other payment-related services in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.57.

TheStreet Ratings rates MasterCard Incorporated as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. 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 MasterCard Incorporated 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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