4 With Upcoming Ex-Dividend Dates: SZC, AFT, MITT, CINF

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.

Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, 13 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 2.5% to 14.9%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday:

Cushing Renaissance Fund

Owners of Cushing Renaissance Fund (NYSE: SZC) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 41 cents per share. At a price of $24.81 as of 3:55 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 6.7%.

The average volume for Cushing Renaissance Fund has been 20,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Cushing Renaissance Fund has a market cap of $149.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 8.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Apollo Senior Floating Rate Fund

Owners of Apollo Senior Floating Rate Fund (NYSE: AFT) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 10 cents per share. At a price of $17.88 as of 4:02 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 6.6%.

The average volume for Apollo Senior Floating Rate Fund has been 55,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Senior Floating Rate Fund has a market cap of $280.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 3.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

AG Mortgage Investment

Owners of AG Mortgage Investment (NYSE: MITT) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 60 cents per share. At a price of $15.92 as of 4:04 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 14.9%.

The average volume for AG Mortgage Investment has been 321,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. AG Mortgage Investment has a market cap of $455.8 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 31.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust, focuses on investing, acquiring, and managing a portfolio of residential mortgage assets, and other real estate-related securities and financial assets.

TheStreet Ratings rates AG Mortgage Investment as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share. You can view the full AG Mortgage Investment Ratings Report now.

Cincinnati Financial Corporation

Owners of Cincinnati Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: CINF) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 42 cents per share. At a price of $51.33 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.2%.

The average volume for Cincinnati Financial Corporation has been 580,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Cincinnati Financial Corporation has a market cap of $8.5 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 32.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Cincinnati Financial Corporation engages in the property casualty insurance business in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.61.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cincinnati Financial 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Cincinnati Financial 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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