Ex-Dividend Alert: 3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday: NYT, EXP, MA

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, April 7, 2014, 4:00 AM ET, 6 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.5% to 2.1%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday:

New York Times Company

Owners of New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 4 cents per share. At a price of $16.32 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1%.

The average volume for New York Times Company has been 967,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. New York Times Company has a market cap of $2.5 billion and is part of the media industry. Shares are up 2.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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The New York Times Company operates as a multimedia news and information company worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 45.69.

TheStreet Ratings rates New York Times Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, 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 sub par growth in net income. You can view the full New York Times Company Ratings Report now.

Eagle Materials

Owners of Eagle Materials (NYSE: EXP) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 10 cents per share. At a price of $89.39 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.5%.

The average volume for Eagle Materials has been 685,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Eagle Materials has a market cap of $4.5 billion and is part of the materials & construction industry. Shares are up 15.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Eagle Materials Inc. manufactures and distributes building products used in residential, industrial, commercial, and infrastructure construction in the United States. The company operates in four segments: Cement, Gypsum Wallboard, Recycled Paperboard, and Concrete and Aggregates. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.44.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eagle Materials as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Eagle Materials Ratings Report now.

MasterCard Incorporated

Owners of MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 11 cents per share. At a price of $74.27 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.6%.

The average volume for MasterCard Incorporated has been 7.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. MasterCard Incorporated has a market cap of $85.3 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 10.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

MasterCard Incorporated provides transaction processing and other payment-related services in the United States and internationally. It facilitates the processing of payment transactions, including authorization, clearing, and settlement, as well as delivers related products and services. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.12.

TheStreet Ratings rates MasterCard Incorporated as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. 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 MasterCard Incorporated 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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