5 With Upcoming Ex-Dividend Dates: PGZ, MMD, AFG, FIS, TROW

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:

Principal Real Estate Income Fund

Owners of Principal Real Estate Income Fund (NYSE: PGZ) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 14 cents per share. At a price of $16.79 as of 4:03 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 9.7%.

The average volume for Principal Real Estate Income Fund has been 30,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Principal Real Estate Income Fund has a market cap of $105.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are unchanged 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.

MainStay DefinedTerm Municipal Opps Fund

Owners of MainStay DefinedTerm Municipal Opps Fund (NYSE: MMD) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 44 cents per share. At a price of $15.51 as of 3:59 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 7.5%.

The average volume for MainStay DefinedTerm Municipal Opps Fund has been 121,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. MainStay DefinedTerm Municipal Opps Fund has a market cap of $421.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 25% 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.

American Financial Group

At a price of $57.87 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.5%.

The average volume for American Financial Group has been 295,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Financial Group has a market cap of $5.2 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 46.8% 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.

American Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides property and casualty insurance products in the United States. The company operates in Property and Casualty Insurance, and Annuity segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.40.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Financial Group 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 and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full American Financial Group Ratings Report now.

Fidelity National Information Services

Owners of Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE: FIS) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 22 cents per share. At a price of $51.24 as of 4:01 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.7%.

The average volume for Fidelity National Information Services has been 1.1 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Fidelity National Information Services has a market cap of $14.8 billion and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are up 46.1% 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.

Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. provides banking and payments technology solutions worldwide. The company offers financial institution core processing, card issuer, and transaction processing services, including the national electronic funds transfer network. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.78.

TheStreet Ratings rates Fidelity National Information Services 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, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. 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 Fidelity National Information Services Ratings Report now.

T. Rowe Price Group

Owners of T. Rowe Price Group (NASDAQ: TROW) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 38 cents per share. At a price of $79.52 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.9%.

The average volume for T. Rowe Price Group has been 1.4 million shares per day over the past 30 days. T. Rowe Price Group has a market cap of $20.8 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 22.9% 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.

T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. is a publicly owned asset management holding company. The firm primarily provides its services to individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.51.

TheStreet Ratings rates T. Rowe Price Group 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, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. 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 T. Rowe Price Group 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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