3 Stocks With Upcoming Ex-Dividend Dates: ECT, AVA, MXIM

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, Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 31 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.6% to 15.4%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

ECA Marcellus Trust I

Owners of ECA Marcellus Trust I (NYSE: ECT) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 28 cents per share. At a price of $7.28 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 15.4%.

The average volume for ECA Marcellus Trust I has been 113,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. ECA Marcellus Trust I has a market cap of $128.3 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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The company has a P/E ratio of 5.32.

Avista

Owners of Avista (NYSE: AVA) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 32 cents per share. At a price of $32.33 as of 9:35 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 4%.

The average volume for Avista has been 343,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Avista has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 13% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Avista Corporation, an energy company, is engaged in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity; and distribution of natural gas primarily in the United States and Canada. It operates in two segments, Avista Utilities and Ecova. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.39.

TheStreet Ratings rates Avista as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. 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 Avista Ratings Report now.

Maxim Integrated Products

Owners of Maxim Integrated Products (NASDAQ: MXIM) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 28 cents per share. At a price of $30.52 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.7%.

The average volume for Maxim Integrated Products has been 2.5 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Maxim Integrated Products has a market cap of $8.6 billion and is part of the electronics industry. Shares are up 10.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and markets various linear and mixed-signal integrated circuits worldwide. The company also provides a range of high-frequency process technologies and capabilities for use in custom designs. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.87.

TheStreet Ratings rates Maxim Integrated Products as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full Maxim Integrated Products 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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