Ex-Dividend Alert: 5 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: WSR, GHC, AWK, NRG, SNDK

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. 30, 2014, 23 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.1% to 8.6%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Whitestone REIT

Owners of Whitestone REIT (NYSE: WSR) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 10 cents per share. At a price of $13.59 as of 9:34 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 8.4%.

The average volume for Whitestone REIT has been 110,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Whitestone REIT has a market cap of $297.1 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 2.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

WhiteStone REIT is a Maryland REIT engaged in owning and operating commercial properties in culturally diverse markets in major metropolitan areas. The company has a P/E ratio of 338.50.

TheStreet Ratings rates Whitestone REIT as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. You can view the full Whitestone REIT Ratings Report now.

Graham Holdings

At a price of $636.57 as of 9:34 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.6%.

The average volume for Graham Holdings has been 29,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Graham Holdings has a market cap of $4.0 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Graham Holdings Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a diversified education and media company in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 79.86.

TheStreet Ratings rates Graham Holdings 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, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. You can view the full Graham Holdings Ratings Report now.

American Water Works

Owners of American Water Works (NYSE: AWK) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 28 cents per share. At a price of $41.86 as of 9:34 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.7%.

The average volume for American Water Works has been 719,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Water Works has a market cap of $7.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 1.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

American Water Works Company, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides water and wastewater services in the United States and Canada. The company's Regulated Businesses segment offers water and wastewater services to approximately 1,500 communities in 16 states. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.42.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Water Works as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 American Water Works Ratings Report now.

NRG Energy

Owners of NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 12 cents per share. At a price of $27.18 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.8%.

The average volume for NRG Energy has been 3.4 million shares per day over the past 30 days. NRG Energy has a market cap of $8.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 5.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

NRG Energy, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated wholesale power generation and retail electricity company. The company engages in the ownership, development, construction, expansion, modification, refurbishment, and operation of power generation facilities. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.79.

TheStreet Ratings rates NRG Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. 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 NRG Energy Ratings Report now.

SanDisk

Owners of SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 22 cents per share. At a price of $69.27 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.3%.

The average volume for SanDisk has been 3.8 million shares per day over the past 30 days. SanDisk has a market cap of $15.7 billion and is part of the computer hardware industry. Shares are down 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Sandisk Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and markets flash storage card products that are used in various consumer electronics products. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.10.

TheStreet Ratings rates SanDisk 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. You can view the full SanDisk 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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