Wednesday's Ex-Dividends To Watch: HBHC, TDW, APH

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.

Wednesday, Wednesday, December 03, 2014, 39 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.1% 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 Wednesday:

Hancock Holding Company

Owners of Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ: HBHC) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 24 cents per share. At a price of $31.51 as of 4:14 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.8%.

The average volume for Hancock Holding Company has been 411,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hancock Holding Company has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Hancock Holding Company operates as the bank holding company for Hancock Bank that provides a range of community banking services to commercial, small business, and retail customers. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.90.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hancock Holding Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. You can view the full Hancock Holding Company Ratings Report now.

Tidewater

Owners of Tidewater (NYSE: TDW) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 25 cents per share. At a price of $31.18 as of 4:03 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.8%.

The average volume for Tidewater has been 903,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Tidewater has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 47.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Tidewater Inc. provides offshore service vessels and marine support services through the operation of a fleet of marine service vessels to the offshore energy industry worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.04.

TheStreet Ratings rates Tidewater as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. You can view the full Tidewater Ratings Report now.

Amphenol

Owners of Amphenol (NYSE: APH) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 12 cents per share. At a price of $52.94 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.9%.

The average volume for Amphenol has been 1.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Amphenol has a market cap of $16.4 billion and is part of the electronics industry. Shares are up 20.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Amphenol Corporation designs, manufactures, and markets electrical, electronic, and fiber optic connectors; interconnect systems, antennas, sensors, and sensor-based products; and coaxial and specialty cables worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.99.

TheStreet Ratings rates Amphenol as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Amphenol 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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