Looking at the universe of stocks we cover at Dividend Channel, on 1/22/15, Royal Bank of Canada (RY - Get Report), Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT), and Government Properties Income Trust (GOV) will all trade ex-dividend for their respective upcoming dividends. Royal Bank of Canada will pay its quarterly dividend of $0.75 on 2/24/15, Hospitality Properties Trust will pay its quarterly dividend of $0.49 on 2/24/15, and Government Properties Income Trust will pay its quarterly dividend of $0.43 on 2/26/15.

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As a percentage of RY's recent stock price of $62.56, this dividend works out to approximately 1.20%, so look for shares of Royal Bank of Canada to trade 1.20% lower — all else being equal — when RY shares open for trading on 1/22/15. Similarly, investors should look for HPT to open 1.49% lower in price and for GOV to open 1.84% lower, all else being equal.

Below are dividend history charts for RY, HPT, and GOV, showing historical dividends prior to the most recent ones declared.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY - Get Report):

RY+Dividend+History+Chart

Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT):

HPT+Dividend+History+Chart

Government Properties Income Trust (GOV):

GOV+Dividend+History+Chart

In general, dividends are not always predictable, following the ups and downs of company profits over time. Therefore, a good first due diligence step in forming an expectation of annual yield going forward, is looking at the history above, for a sense of stability over time. This can help in judging whether the most recent dividends from these companies are likely to continue. If they do continue, the current estimated yields on annualized basis would be 4.80% for Royal Bank of Canada, 5.96% for Hospitality Properties Trust, and 7.35% for Government Properties Income Trust.

In Tuesday trading, Royal Bank of Canada shares are currently down about 0.8%, Hospitality Properties Trust shares are up about 0.5%, and Government Properties Income Trust shares are up about 0.4% on the day.