Ex-Dividend Alert: 5 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: MIY, MUA, JTP, NTLS, NU

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. 11, 2013, 174 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.2% to 30.7%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

BlackRock MuniYield Michigan Quality Fund

Owners of BlackRock MuniYield Michigan Quality Fund (NYSE: MIY) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 8 cents per share. At a price of $12.10 as of 9:30 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 7.3%.

The average volume for BlackRock MuniYield Michigan Quality Fund has been 48,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. BlackRock MuniYield Michigan Quality Fund has a market cap of $220.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 22.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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The company has a P/E ratio of 11.62.

BlackRock MuniAssets Fund

Owners of BlackRock MuniAssets Fund (NYSE: MUA) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 7 cents per share. At a price of $11.26 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 6.7%.

The average volume for BlackRock MuniAssets Fund has been 91,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. BlackRock MuniAssets Fund has a market cap of $401.9 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 19.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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The company has a P/E ratio of 13.86.

Nuveen Quality Preferred Income Fund

Owners of Nuveen Quality Preferred Income Fund (NYSE: JTP) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 5 cents per share. At a price of $7.51 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 8.3%.

The average volume for Nuveen Quality Preferred Income Fund has been 218,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Nuveen Quality Preferred Income Fund has a market cap of $485.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 13.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

The company has a P/E ratio of 5.78.

NTELOS Holdings

Owners of NTELOS Holdings (NASDAQ: NTLS) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 42 cents per share. At a price of $20.80 as of 9:30 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 8.3%.

The average volume for NTELOS Holdings has been 287,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. NTELOS Holdings has a market cap of $435.9 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 58.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

NTELOS Holdings Corp., through its subsidiaries, provides digital wireless communications services to consumers and businesses primarily in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as parts of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.18.

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

Northeast Utilities

Owners of Northeast Utilities (NYSE: NU) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 37 cents per share. At a price of $41.26 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.5%.

The average volume for Northeast Utilities has been 1.5 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Northeast Utilities has a market cap of $13.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 5.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

Northeast Utilities, a public utility company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the energy delivery business. It operates in four segments: Electric Distribution, Electric Transmission, Natural Gas Distribution, and Other. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.63.

TheStreet Ratings rates Northeast Utilities 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, increase in net income, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Northeast Utilities 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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