Ex's-Dividends To Watch: ALJ, WRB, MAN, KEY

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

, Nov. 29, 2013, 13 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.9% to 6.3%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend:

Alon USA Energy

Owners of Alon USA Energy (NYSE: ALJ) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 6 cents per share. At a price of $13.46 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.9%.

The average volume for Alon USA Energy has been 1.0 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Alon USA Energy has a market cap of $891.6 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 26.8% 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.

Alon USA Energy, Inc. engages in refining and marketing petroleum products primarily in the South Central, Southwestern, and Western regions of the United States. The company operates in three segments: Refining and Marketing, Asphalt, and Retail. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.93.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alon USA Energy as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its reasonable valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. You can view the full Alon USA Energy Ratings Report now.

WR Berkley

Owners of WR Berkley (NYSE: WRB) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 10 cents per share. At a price of $44.13 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.9%.

The average volume for WR Berkley has been 469,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. WR Berkley has a market cap of $6.0 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 16.9% 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.

W. R. Berkley Corporation, an insurance holding company, operates as commercial lines writers primarily in the United States. The company operates in five segments: Specialty, Regional, Alternative Markets, Reinsurance, and International. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.77.

TheStreet Ratings rates WR Berkley as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full WR Berkley Ratings Report now.

ManpowerGroup

Owners of ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 46 cents per share. At a price of $80.88 as of 9:31 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.1%.

The average volume for ManpowerGroup has been 668,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. ManpowerGroup has a market cap of $6.4 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 90% 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.

ManpowerGroup Inc. provides workforce solutions and services. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.52.

TheStreet Ratings rates ManpowerGroup as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full ManpowerGroup Ratings Report now.

KeyCorp

Owners of KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 6 cents per share. At a price of $12.90 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.7%.

The average volume for KeyCorp has been 10.7 million shares per day over the past 30 days. KeyCorp has a market cap of $11.6 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 53.2% 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.

KeyCorp. operates as the holding company for KeyBank National Association that provides various banking services in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.49.

TheStreet Ratings rates KeyCorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. You can view the full KeyCorp 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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