3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: DCIX, ORI, AJG

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. 28, 2014, 5:00 AM ET, 18 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.3% to 14.5%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Diana Containerships

Owners of Diana Containerships (NASDAQ: DCIX) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 15 cents per share. At a price of $4.21 as of 9:33 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 14.5%.

The average volume for Diana Containerships has been 260,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Diana Containerships has a market cap of $141.0 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 2.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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Diana Containerships Inc., a shipping company, owns and operates containerships. It is involved in the seaborne transportation activities. As of August 23, 2013, its fleet consisted of nine container vessels comprising one Post-Panamax and eight Panamax vessels.

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

Old Republic International

Owners of Old Republic International (NYSE: ORI) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 18 cents per share. At a price of $15.72 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 4.7%.

The average volume for Old Republic International has been 1.6 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Old Republic International has a market cap of $4.0 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 9.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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Old Republic International Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in underwriting insurance products primarily in the United States and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.40.

TheStreet Ratings rates Old Republic International 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, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Old Republic International Ratings Report now.

Arthur J. Gallagher

Owners of Arthur J. Gallagher (NYSE: AJG) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 36 cents per share. At a price of $45.60 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.2%.

The average volume for Arthur J. Gallagher has been 708,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Arthur J. Gallagher has a market cap of $6.1 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 2.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. and its subsidiaries provide insurance brokerage and risk management services to various commercial, industrial, institutional, and governmental organizations. It operates in two segments, Brokerage and Risk Management. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.15.

TheStreet Ratings rates Arthur J. Gallagher as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in stock price during the past year, notable return on equity and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. You can view the full Arthur J. Gallagher 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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