Ex-Dividends To Watch: 3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: PTP, GPI, ATK

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, May 29, 2014, 4:00 AM ET, 41 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.2% to 8.2%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Platinum Underwriters Holdings

Owners of Platinum Underwriters Holdings (NYSE: PTP) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 8 cents per share. At a price of $63.61 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.5%.

The average volume for Platinum Underwriters Holdings has been 159,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Platinum Underwriters Holdings has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 2.9% 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.

Platinum Underwriters Holdings, Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides property and marine, casualty, and finite risk reinsurance coverage products worldwide. It operates in three segments: Property and Marine, Casualty, and Finite Risk. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.02.

TheStreet Ratings rates Platinum Underwriters Holdings 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, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. You can view the full Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ratings Report now.

Group 1 Automotive

Owners of Group 1 Automotive (NYSE: GPI) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 17 cents per share. At a price of $79.21 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.8%.

The average volume for Group 1 Automotive has been 330,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Group 1 Automotive has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the specialty retail industry. Shares are up 12% 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.

Group 1 Automotive, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates in the automotive retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.18.

TheStreet Ratings rates Group 1 Automotive as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. 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 Group 1 Automotive Ratings Report now.

Alliant Techsystems

Owners of Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 32 cents per share. At a price of $125.97 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1%.

The average volume for Alliant Techsystems has been 416,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Alliant Techsystems has a market cap of $4.0 billion and is part of the aerospace/defense industry. Shares are up 3.3% 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.

Alliant Techsystems Inc. develops and produces aerospace, defense, and commercial products to the U.S. government, allied nations, and prime contractors in the United States, Puerto Rico, and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.07.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alliant Techsystems as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, 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 has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. You can view the full Alliant Techsystems 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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