Dividend Watch: 3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: HGT, ERF, WSH

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, Friday, September 26, 2014, 118 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0% to 36.3%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Hugoton Royalty

Owners of Hugoton Royalty (NYSE: HGT) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 9 cents per share. At a price of $9.15 as of 9:46 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 11.8%.

The average volume for Hugoton Royalty has been 205,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hugoton Royalty has a market cap of $364.4 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 21.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Hugoton Royalty Trust operates as an express trust in the United States. The company holds an 80% net profits interests in certain natural gas producing working interest properties of XTO Energy Inc. XTO Energy Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.51.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hugoton Royalty 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, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and compelling growth in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. You can view the full Hugoton Royalty Ratings Report now.

Enerplus

Owners of Enerplus (NYSE: ERF) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 8 cents per share. At a price of $18.85 as of 9:46 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 5.2%.

The average volume for Enerplus has been 609,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Enerplus has a market cap of $3.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Enerplus Corporation, together with subsidiaries, is engaged in the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 38.88.

TheStreet Ratings rates Enerplus as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive. You can view the full Enerplus Ratings Report now.

Willis Group Holdings

Owners of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 30 cents per share. At a price of $41.49 as of 9:46 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.9%.

The average volume for Willis Group Holdings has been 629,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Willis Group Holdings has a market cap of $7.4 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 6.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Willis Group Holdings Public Limited Company provides insurance brokerage, reinsurance, and risk management consulting services worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.78.

TheStreet Ratings rates Willis Group Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. You can view the full Willis Group Holdings 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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