Dividend Watch: 3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Thursday: TCPC, FAF, VAL

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.

Thursday, Thursday, December 04, 2014, 17 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 1.4% to 15.7%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Thursday:

TCP Capital

Owners of TCP Capital (NASDAQ: TCPC) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 41 cents per share. At a price of $16.86 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 8.4%.

The average volume for TCP Capital has been 330,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. TCP Capital has a market cap of $730.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

TCP Capital Corp. is a business development company specializing in direct equity and debt investments in middle-market, senior secured loans, junior loans, originated loans, mezzanine, senior debt instruments, bonds, and secondary-market investments. It seeks to invest in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.01.

TheStreet Ratings rates TCP Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full TCP Capital Ratings Report now.

First American Financial

Owners of First American Financial (NYSE: FAF) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 24 cents per share. At a price of $32.74 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3%.

The average volume for First American Financial has been 668,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. First American Financial has a market cap of $3.4 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 14.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

First American Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services. It operates through Title Insurance and Services, and Specialty Insurance segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.94.

TheStreet Ratings rates First American Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. You can view the full First American Financial Ratings Report now.

Valspar

Owners of Valspar (NYSE: VAL) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 30 cents per share. At a price of $82.80 as of 4:02 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.4%.

The average volume for Valspar has been 454,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Valspar has a market cap of $7.0 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 14.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

The Valspar Corporation manufactures and distributes various coatings, paints, and related products worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Coatings and Paints. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.29.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valspar as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. 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 Valspar 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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