Dividend Watch: 3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday: AFT, TXRH, WRB

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.

Monday, Monday, March 17, 2014, 4:00 AM ET, 9 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.3% to 7.8%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday:

Apollo Senior Floating Rate Fund

Owners of Apollo Senior Floating Rate Fund (NYSE: AFT) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 10 cents per share. At a price of $18.30 as of 4:09 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 6.5%.

The average volume for Apollo Senior Floating Rate Fund has been 56,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Senior Floating Rate Fund has a market cap of $285.0 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 1.2% 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.

Texas Roadhouse

Owners of Texas Roadhouse (NASDAQ: TXRH) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 15 cents per share. At a price of $26.14 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.3%.

The average volume for Texas Roadhouse has been 667,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Texas Roadhouse has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are down 7.7% 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.

Texas Roadhouse, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates a full service casual dining restaurant chain. The company operates its restaurants under the Texas Roadhouse and Aspen Creek names. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.72.

TheStreet Ratings rates Texas Roadhouse 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, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Texas Roadhouse Ratings Report now.

WR Berkley

Owners of WR Berkley (NYSE: WRB) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 10 cents per share. At a price of $40.72 as of 4:02 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1%.

The average volume for WR Berkley has been 733,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. WR Berkley has a market cap of $5.3 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 6.2% 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.

W. R. Berkley Corporation, an insurance holding company, operates as commercial lines writers primarily in the United States. The company operates in five segments: Specialty, Regional, Alternative Markets, Reinsurance, and International. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.53.

TheStreet Ratings rates WR Berkley as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. You can view the full WR Berkley 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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