Ex-Dividends To Watch: 4 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Thursday: HASI, MAIN, BGC, CSC

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. 26, 2013, 18 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.1% to 55.4%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Thursday:

Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure

Owners of Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure (NYSE: HASI) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 22 cents per share. At a price of $13.74 as of 4:05 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 6.8%.

The average volume for Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure has been 94,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure has a market cap of $203.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Main Street Capital Corporation

Owners of Main Street Capital Corporation (NYSE: MAIN) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 16 cents per share. At a price of $32.92 as of 9:32 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 6%.

The average volume for Main Street Capital Corporation has been 217,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Main Street Capital Corporation has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 7.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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Main Street Capital Corporation is a business development company specializing in long- term equity, equity related, and debt investments in small and lower middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.59.

TheStreet Ratings rates Main Street Capital Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full Main Street Capital Corporation Ratings Report now.

General Cable Corporation

Owners of General Cable Corporation (NYSE: BGC) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 18 cents per share. At a price of $29.33 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.5%.

The average volume for General Cable Corporation has been 599,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. General Cable Corporation has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the industrial industry. Shares are down 4% 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.

General Cable Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes copper, aluminum, and fiber optic wire and cable products worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings rates General Cable Corporation as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its revenue growth. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. You can view the full General Cable Corporation Ratings Report now.

Computer Sciences Corporation

Owners of Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE: CSC) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 20 cents per share. At a price of $54.97 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.5%.

The average volume for Computer Sciences Corporation has been 1.0 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Computer Sciences Corporation has a market cap of $8.1 billion and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are up 36.9% 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.

Computer Sciences Corporation provides information technology (IT) and professional services and solutions in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.90.

TheStreet Ratings rates Computer Sciences Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins. You can view the full Computer Sciences 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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