Ex-Dividend Alert: 3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: MKSI, GPI, AEM

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, August 28, 2014, 44 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.3% to 8.4%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

MKS Instruments

Owners of MKS Instruments (NASDAQ: MKSI) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 16 cents per share. At a price of $33.25 as of 9:40 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2%.

The average volume for MKS Instruments has been 276,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. MKS Instruments has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the electronics industry. Shares are up 11.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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MKS Instruments, Inc. operates as a provider of instruments, subsystems, and process control solutions that measure, control, power, monitor, and analyze critical parameters of manufacturing processes in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.46.

TheStreet Ratings rates MKS Instruments 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, reasonable valuation levels and compelling growth in net income. 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 MKS Instruments 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 $80.38 as of 9:41 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.9%.

The average volume for Group 1 Automotive has been 397,300 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 12.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Group 1 Automotive, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates in the automotive retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.88.

TheStreet Ratings rates Group 1 Automotive as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth 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 Group 1 Automotive Ratings Report now.

Agnico Eagle Mines

Owners of Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 8 cents per share. At a price of $37.45 as of 9:40 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.9%.

The average volume for Agnico Eagle Mines has been 1.8 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Agnico Eagle Mines has a market cap of $7.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 41.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Agnico Eagle Mines Limited is engaged in the exploration, development, and production of mineral properties in Canada, Finland, and Mexico. It primarily explores for gold, as well as for silver, copper, zinc, and lead.

TheStreet Ratings rates Agnico Eagle Mines as a hold. 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 and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing. You can view the full Agnico Eagle Mines 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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