3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday: ERH, ALDW, PDS

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, May 12, 2014, 4:00 AM ET, 17 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.8% to 14.3%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday:

Wells Fargo Advantage Util & High Inc FD

Owners of Wells Fargo Advantage Util & High Inc FD (AMEX: ERH) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 8 cents per share. At a price of $12.93 as of 9:34 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 7%.

The average volume for Wells Fargo Advantage Util & High Inc FD has been 20,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Wells Fargo Advantage Util & High Inc FD has a market cap of $119.5 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 9.8% 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.

Alon USA Partners

Owners of Alon USA Partners (NYSE: ALDW) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 69 cents per share. At a price of $18.35 as of 9:32 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 14.3%.

The average volume for Alon USA Partners has been 157,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Alon USA Partners has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.3% 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.

Alon USA Partners, LP refines and markets petroleum products primarily in the South Central and Southwestern regions of the United States. The company owns and operates a crude oil refinery in Big Spring, Texas with crude oil throughput capacity of 70,000 barrels per day. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.18.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alon USA Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Alon USA Partners Ratings Report now.

Precision Drilling

Owners of Precision Drilling (NYSE: PDS) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 5 cents per share. At a price of $12.72 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.7%.

The average volume for Precision Drilling has been 2.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Precision Drilling has a market cap of $3.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 36.7% 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.

Precision Drilling Corporation provides energy services primarily to the North American oil and gas industry. It operates in two segments, Contract Drilling Services, and Completion and Production Services. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.16.

TheStreet Ratings rates Precision Drilling as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. You can view the full Precision Drilling 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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