Dividend Watch: 3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: ABR, PL, DNB

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, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 5:00 AM ET, 17 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.1% to 7.2%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Arbor Realty

Owners of Arbor Realty (NYSE: ABR) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 13 cents per share. At a price of $7.05 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 7.2%.

The average volume for Arbor Realty has been 109,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Arbor Realty has a market cap of $355.3 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 8.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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Arbor Realty Trust, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.08.

TheStreet Ratings rates Arbor Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year. You can view the full Arbor Realty Ratings Report now.

Protective Life

Owners of Protective Life (NYSE: PL) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 20 cents per share. At a price of $51.35 as of 9:33 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.5%.

The average volume for Protective Life has been 458,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Protective Life has a market cap of $4.1 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 1.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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Protective Life Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial services primarily in the United States. The company engages in the production, distribution, and administration of insurance and retirement products. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.19.

TheStreet Ratings rates Protective Life as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, notable return on equity and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Protective Life Ratings Report now.

Dun & Bradstreet Corporation

Owners of Dun & Bradstreet Corporation (NYSE: DNB) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 44 cents per share. At a price of $95.83 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.8%.

The average volume for Dun & Bradstreet Corporation has been 474,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Dun & Bradstreet Corporation has a market cap of $3.7 billion and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are down 21.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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We are interested in acquisition targets located in the United States, Canada, the UK or Italy. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.72.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dun & Bradstreet Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full Dun & Bradstreet 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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