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.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 18 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 1% to 11%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow:

Rent-A-Center

Owners of Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ: RCII) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 24 cents per share. At a price of $27.63 as of 9:33 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.5%.

The average volume for Rent-A-Center has been 714,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rent-A-Center has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the specialty retail industry. Shares are down 24.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Rent-A-Center, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, leases household durable goods to customers on a rent-to-own basis. The company operates in four segments: Core U.S., Acceptance Now, Mexico, and Franchising. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.05.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rent-A-Center as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Rent-A-Center Ratings Report now.

Torchmark

Owners of Torchmark (NYSE: TMK) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 14 cents per share. At a price of $54.89 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1%.

The average volume for Torchmark has been 693,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Torchmark has a market cap of $7.0 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 0.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Torchmark Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various life and health insurance products, and annuities in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. It operates through Life Insurance, Health Insurance, Medicare Part D, and Annuities segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.39.

TheStreet Ratings rates Torchmark as a buy. 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. You can view the full Torchmark Ratings Report now.

Atwood Oceanics

Owners of Atwood Oceanics (NYSE: ATW) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 25 cents per share. At a price of $27.92 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.5%.

The average volume for Atwood Oceanics has been 1.9 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Atwood Oceanics has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Atwood Oceanics, Inc., an offshore drilling contractor, engages in the drilling and completion of exploratory and developmental oil and gas wells worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.12.

TheStreet Ratings rates Atwood Oceanics as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. You can view the full Atwood Oceanics 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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