Ex-Dividends To Watch: 5 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Thursday: GOOD, THG, BCE, RAI, JCI

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.

Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, 55 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.2% to 16.3%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Thursday:

Gladstone Commercial Corporation

Owners of Gladstone Commercial Corporation (NASDAQ: GOOD) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 12 cents per share. At a price of $17.71 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 8.4%.

The average volume for Gladstone Commercial Corporation has been 75,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Gladstone Commercial Corporation has a market cap of $278.2 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 0.3% 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.

Gladstone Commercial Corporation operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It engages in investing in and owning net leased industrial and commercial real properties, and making long-term industrial and commercial mortgage loans.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gladstone Commercial Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. You can view the full Gladstone Commercial Corporation Ratings Report now.

Hanover Insurance Group

Owners of Hanover Insurance Group (NYSE: THG) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 37 cents per share. At a price of $60.55 as of 4:02 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.4%.

The average volume for Hanover Insurance Group has been 202,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hanover Insurance Group has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 56.6% 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 Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, underwrites commercial and personal property, and casualty insurance coverage in the United States. It operates in four segments: Commercial Lines, Personal Lines, Chaucer, and Other Property and Casualty. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.13.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hanover Insurance Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. You can view the full Hanover Insurance Group Ratings Report now.

BCE

Owners of BCE (NYSE: BCE) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 56 cents per share. At a price of $43.99 as of 4:02 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 5.1%.

The average volume for BCE has been 622,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. BCE has a market cap of $33.9 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 1.8% 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.

BCE Inc. provides communications solutions to residential, business, and wholesale customers primarily in Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.07.

TheStreet Ratings rates BCE as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full BCE Ratings Report now.

Reynolds American

Owners of Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 63 cents per share. At a price of $50.81 as of 4:02 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 4.9%.

The average volume for Reynolds American has been 1.5 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Reynolds American has a market cap of $27.7 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are up 24% 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.

Reynolds American Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarette and other tobacco products in the United States. The company operates through RJR Tobacco, American Snuff, and Santa Fe segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.92.

TheStreet Ratings rates Reynolds American as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Reynolds American Ratings Report now.

Johnson Controls

Owners of Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 22 cents per share. At a price of $51.45 as of 4:05 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.8%.

The average volume for Johnson Controls has been 4.0 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Johnson Controls has a market cap of $34.5 billion and is part of the automotive industry. Shares are up 66% 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.

Johnson Controls, Inc. is engaged in building efficiency, automotive experience, and power solutions businesses worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.48.

TheStreet Ratings rates Johnson Controls as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. You can view the full Johnson Controls 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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