Ex-Dividends To Watch: 4 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: FAF, FTR, PFG, ESV

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.

Tomorrow, Dec. 5, 2013, 9 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 1.3% to 8.7%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

First American Financial

Owners of First American Financial (NYSE: FAF) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 12 cents per share. At a price of $26.63 as of 9:40 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.8%.

The average volume for First American Financial has been 783,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. First American Financial has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 10.9% 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.

First American Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services. The company operates in two segments, Title Insurance and Services, and Specialty Insurance. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.82.

TheStreet Ratings rates First American Financial 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, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full First American Financial Ratings Report now.

Frontier Communications Corp Class B

Owners of Frontier Communications Corp Class B (NASDAQ: FTR) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 10 cents per share. At a price of $4.64 as of 9:40 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 8.7%.

The average volume for Frontier Communications Corp Class B has been 8.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Frontier Communications Corp Class B has a market cap of $4.6 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 7.9% 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.

Frontier Communications Corporation, a communications company, provides regulated and unregulated voice, data, and video services to business, residential, and wholesale customers in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 77.00.

TheStreet Ratings rates Frontier Communications Corp Class B as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Frontier Communications Corp Class B Ratings Report now.

Principal Financial Group

Owners of Principal Financial Group (NYSE: PFG) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 26 cents per share. At a price of $49.70 as of 9:39 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.1%.

The average volume for Principal Financial Group has been 1.2 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Principal Financial Group has a market cap of $14.8 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 76.3% 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.

Principal Financial Group, Inc. provides retirement savings, investment, and insurance products and services. It operates in four segments: Retirement and Investor Services, Principal Global Investors, Principal International, and U.S. Insurance Solutions. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.40.

TheStreet Ratings rates Principal Financial Group 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Principal Financial Group Ratings Report now.

Ensco PLC Class A

Owners of Ensco PLC Class A (NYSE: ESV) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 75 cents per share. At a price of $59.32 as of 9:40 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.8%.

The average volume for Ensco PLC Class A has been 2.1 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Ensco PLC Class A has a market cap of $13.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 0.1% 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.

Ensco plc provides offshore contract drilling services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Floaters, Jackups, and Other. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.65.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ensco PLC Class A as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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 Ensco PLC Class A 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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