Tomorrow's Ex-Dividends To Watch: HTGC, ITC, PFG

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, Thursday, March 6, 2014, 5:00 AM ET, 46 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.3% to 10.8%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Hercules Technology Growth Capital

Owners of Hercules Technology Growth Capital (NYSE: HTGC) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 31 cents per share. At a price of $15.51 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 7.9%.

The average volume for Hercules Technology Growth Capital has been 485,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hercules Technology Growth Capital has a market cap of $973.2 million. Shares are down 4% 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.

Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. is a private equity, venture capital, and venture debt firm specializing in providing debt and equity to privately held venture capital and private equity backed companies and select publicly-traded companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.66.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hercules Technology Growth Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. 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 Hercules Technology Growth Capital Ratings Report now.

ITC Holdings

Owners of ITC Holdings (NYSE: ITC) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 14 cents per share. At a price of $35.28 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.7%.

The average volume for ITC Holdings has been 985,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. ITC Holdings has a market cap of $5.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 7% 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.

ITC Holdings Corp., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the transmission of electricity in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.96.

TheStreet Ratings rates ITC Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. 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 ITC Holdings Ratings Report now.

Principal Financial Group

Owners of Principal Financial Group (NYSE: PFG) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 28 cents per share. At a price of $46.22 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.5%.

The average volume for Principal Financial Group has been 1.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Principal Financial Group has a market cap of $13.2 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 6% 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.

Principal Financial Group, Inc. provides retirement savings, investment, and insurance products and services. It operates through Retirement and Investor Services, Principal Global Investors, Principal International, and U.S. Insurance Solutions segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.19.

TheStreet Ratings rates Principal Financial Group 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, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Principal Financial Group 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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