3 With Upcoming Ex-Dividend Dates: VOC, SUSQ, SPN

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. 28, 2014, 6 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.4% to 14.3%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

VOC Energy

Owners of VOC Energy (NYSE: VOC) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 57 cents per share. At a price of $15.92 as of 9:33 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 14.3%.

The average volume for VOC Energy has been 85,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. VOC Energy has a market cap of $271.2 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 9.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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VOC Energy Trust acquires and holds a term net profits interest of the net proceeds from production of the interests in oil and natural gas properties in the states of Kansas and Texas. It owns an 80% term net profits interest of the net proceeds on the underlying properties.

TheStreet Ratings rates VOC Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. You can view the full VOC Energy Ratings Report now.

Susquehanna

Owners of Susquehanna (NASDAQ: SUSQ) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 8 cents per share. At a price of $11.65 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.6%.

The average volume for Susquehanna has been 1.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Susquehanna has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 8.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Susquehanna Bank that provides a range of retail and commercial banking, and financial products and services in the mid-Atlantic region. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.26.

TheStreet Ratings rates Susquehanna as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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 Susquehanna Ratings Report now.

Superior Energy Services

Owners of Superior Energy Services (NYSE: SPN) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 8 cents per share. At a price of $24.30 as of 9:34 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.3%.

The average volume for Superior Energy Services has been 1.8 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Superior Energy Services has a market cap of $4.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 8.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Superior Energy Services, Inc. provides specialized oilfield services and equipment to oil and gas companies. The company operates in four segments: Drilling Products and Services; Onshore Completion and Workover Services; Production Services; and Subsea and Technical Solutions. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.43.

TheStreet Ratings rates Superior Energy Services as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, 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 Superior Energy Services 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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