Ex-Dividends To Watch: 5 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: JRI, JPI, LSTR, TWO, SPLS

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. 24, 2013, 40 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.5% to 13.3%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Nuveen Real Asset Income and Growth Fund

At a price of $17.96 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 9.1%.

The average volume for Nuveen Real Asset Income and Growth Fund has been 39,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Nuveen Real Asset Income and Growth Fund has a market cap of $173.8 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 4.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Nuveen Preferred & Income Term Fund

Owners of Nuveen Preferred & Income Term Fund (NYSE: JPI) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 49 cents per share. At a price of $22.29 as of 9:32 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 9.2%.

The average volume for Nuveen Preferred & Income Term Fund has been 88,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Nuveen Preferred & Income Term Fund has a market cap of $504.0 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 9.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Landstar System

Owners of Landstar System (NASDAQ: LSTR) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 35 cents per share. At a price of $57.05 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.5%.

The average volume for Landstar System has been 322,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Landstar System has a market cap of $2.6 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 7.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Landstar System, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides freight transportation services and supply chain solutions in the United States and internationally. It operates in two segments, Transportation Logistics and Insurance. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.60.

TheStreet Ratings rates Landstar System as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, 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 Landstar System Ratings Report now.

Two Harbors Investment

Owners of Two Harbors Investment (NYSE: TWO) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 26 cents per share. At a price of $9.57 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 11%.

The average volume for Two Harbors Investment has been 4.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Two Harbors Investment has a market cap of $3.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 14.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Two Harbors Investment Corp. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on investing in, financing, and managing residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), residential mortgage loans, and other financial assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.62.

TheStreet Ratings rates Two Harbors Investment as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, unimpressive growth in net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. You can view the full Two Harbors Investment Ratings Report now.

Staples

Owners of Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 12 cents per share. At a price of $15.70 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.1%.

The average volume for Staples has been 7.9 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Staples has a market cap of $10.2 billion and is part of the specialty retail industry. Shares are up 36.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Staples, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an office products company. It operates in three segments: North American Stores & Online, North American Commercial, and International Operations. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.70.

TheStreet Ratings rates Staples as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Staples 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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