Ex-Dividend Alert: 5 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: DHF, HPF, NCZ, SFL, FDX

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. 10, 2013, 56 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.4% to 12.5%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Dreyfus High Yield Strategies Fund

Owners of Dreyfus High Yield Strategies Fund (NYSE: DHF) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 3 cents per share. At a price of $4.02 as of 9:30 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 9.6%.

The average volume for Dreyfus High Yield Strategies Fund has been 178,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Dreyfus High Yield Strategies Fund has a market cap of $290.1 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 2.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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The company has a P/E ratio of 8.89.

John Hancock Preferred Income Fund II

Owners of John Hancock Preferred Income Fund II (NYSE: HPF) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 14 cents per share. At a price of $17.52 as of 9:31 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 9.4%.

The average volume for John Hancock Preferred Income Fund II has been 67,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. John Hancock Preferred Income Fund II has a market cap of $379.9 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 18.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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The company has a P/E ratio of 7.67.

AllianzGI Convertible & Income Fund II

Owners of AllianzGI Convertible & Income Fund II (NYSE: NCZ) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 8 cents per share. At a price of $8.95 as of 9:34 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 11.5%.

The average volume for AllianzGI Convertible & Income Fund II has been 206,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. AllianzGI Convertible & Income Fund II has a market cap of $643.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 12.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Ship Finance International

Owners of Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 39 cents per share. At a price of $16.91 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 9.3%.

The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 567,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Ship Finance International Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of vessels and offshore related assets in Bermuda, Cyprus, Malta, Liberia, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the Marshall Islands. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.58.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ship Finance International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity. You can view the full Ship Finance International Ratings Report now.

FedEx Corporation

Owners of FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 15 cents per share. At a price of $139.84 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.4%.

The average volume for FedEx Corporation has been 2.4 million shares per day over the past 30 days. FedEx Corporation has a market cap of $43.8 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 52% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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FedEx Corporation provides transportation, e-commerce, and business services in the United States and internationally. It operates in four segments: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Services. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.70.

TheStreet Ratings rates FedEx Corporation 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, reasonable valuation levels, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. You can view the full FedEx 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.
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