Ex-Dividend Alert: 5 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: EMES, ABFS, MWV, BTU, MET

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, Feb. 4, 2014, 19 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.3% to 10%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Emerge Energy Services

At a price of $46.51 as of 9:33 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 8.6%.

The average volume for Emerge Energy Services has been 147,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Emerge Energy Services has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 4.8% 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.

Arkansas Best Corporation

Owners of Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ: ABFS) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 3 cents per share. At a price of $33.77 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.4%.

The average volume for Arkansas Best Corporation has been 438,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Arkansas Best Corporation has a market cap of $859.4 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 0.8% 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.

Arkansas Best Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides freight transportation services and solutions. The company has a P/E ratio of 56.61.

TheStreet Ratings rates Arkansas Best Corporation 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 solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Arkansas Best Corporation Ratings Report now.

MeadWestvaco Corporation

At a price of $35.98 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.8%.

The average volume for MeadWestvaco Corporation has been 1.2 million shares per day over the past 30 days. MeadWestvaco Corporation has a market cap of $6.4 billion and is part of the consumer non-durables industry. Shares are down 2.3% 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.

MeadWestvaco Corporation provides packaging solutions to healthcare, beauty and personal care, food, beverage, home and garden, tobacco, and agricultural industries worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.10.

TheStreet Ratings rates MeadWestvaco Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, 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 shows weak operating cash flow. You can view the full MeadWestvaco Corporation Ratings Report now.

Peabody Energy Corporation

Owners of Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE: BTU) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 8 cents per share. At a price of $16.88 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2%.

The average volume for Peabody Energy Corporation has been 6.8 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Peabody Energy Corporation has a market cap of $4.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 13.5% 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.

Peabody Energy Corporation engages in the mining of coal. The company operates through Western U.S. Mining, Midwestern U.S. Mining, Australian Mining, Trading and Brokerage, and Corporate and Other segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 49.68.

TheStreet Ratings rates Peabody Energy Corporation as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. You can view the full Peabody Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

MetLife

Owners of MetLife (NYSE: MET) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 28 cents per share. At a price of $48.92 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.2%.

The average volume for MetLife has been 5.7 million shares per day over the past 30 days. MetLife has a market cap of $55.8 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 9% 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.

MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.52.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. You can view the full MetLife 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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