Ex-Dividends To Watch: 5 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: AFB, PDCO, MAS, GIS, T

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, Jan. 8, 2014, 19 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.6% to 10.1%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

AllianceBernstein National Municipal Income

Owners of AllianceBernstein National Municipal Income (NYSE: AFB) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 7 cents per share. At a price of $12.87 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 6.9%.

The average volume for AllianceBernstein National Municipal Income has been 109,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. AllianceBernstein National Municipal Income has a market cap of $362.2 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 1.4% 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.

Patterson Companies

Owners of Patterson Companies (NASDAQ: PDCO) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 16 cents per share. At a price of $41.25 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.6%.

The average volume for Patterson Companies has been 654,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Patterson Companies has a market cap of $4.4 billion and is part of the wholesale industry. Shares are down 0.6% 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.

Patterson Companies, Inc. distributes dental, veterinary, and rehabilitation supplies. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.66.

TheStreet Ratings rates Patterson Companies 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, 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 Patterson Companies Ratings Report now.

Masco Corporation

Owners of Masco Corporation (NYSE: MAS) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 8 cents per share. At a price of $22.84 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.3%.

The average volume for Masco Corporation has been 4.0 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Masco Corporation has a market cap of $8.3 billion and is part of the materials & construction industry. Shares are up 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.

Masco Corporation engages in the manufacture, distribution, and installation of home improvement and building products primarily in North America and Europe. The company has a P/E ratio of 56.49.

TheStreet Ratings rates Masco Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. You can view the full Masco Corporation Ratings Report now.

General Mills

Owners of General Mills (NYSE: GIS) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 38 cents per share. At a price of $49.66 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.1%.

The average volume for General Mills has been 2.8 million shares per day over the past 30 days. General Mills has a market cap of $30.8 billion and is part of the food & beverage industry. Shares are down 1.1% 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.

General Mills, Inc. produces and markets branded consumer foods in the United States and internationally. It also supplies branded and unbranded food products to the foodservice and commercial baking industries. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.31.

TheStreet Ratings rates General Mills as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. You can view the full General Mills Ratings Report now.

AT&T

Owners of AT&T (NYSE: T) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 46 cents per share. At a price of $35.05 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 5.3%.

The average volume for AT&T has been 22.8 million shares per day over the past 30 days. AT&T has a market cap of $183.3 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 0.6% 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.

AT&T Inc. provides telecommunications services to consumers and businesses in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Wireless, Wireline, and Other segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.17.

TheStreet Ratings rates AT&T as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. You can view the full AT&T 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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