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.

Thursday, Thursday, April 30, 2015, 24 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.6% to 8.3%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Thursday:

KNOT Offshore Partners

Owners of KNOT Offshore Partners (NYSE: KNOP) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 51 cents per share. At a price of $25.55 as of 4:02 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 7.7%.

The average volume for KNOT Offshore Partners has been 40,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. KNOT Offshore Partners has a market cap of $364.8 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 18.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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KNOT Offshore Partners LP owns and operates shuttle tankers under long-term charters in the North Sea and Brazil. The company provides crude oil loading, transportation, and storage services under time charters and bareboat charters. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.92.

TheStreet Ratings rates KNOT Offshore Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. You can view the full KNOT Offshore Partners Ratings Report now.

Phillips 66 Partners

Owners of Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSXP) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 37 cents per share. At a price of $73.10 as of 9:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2%.

The average volume for Phillips 66 Partners has been 235,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Phillips 66 Partners has a market cap of $2.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 7.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Phillips 66 Partners LP owns, operates, develops, and acquires crude oil, refined petroleum products, and natural gas liquids pipelines and terminals, as well as other transportation and midstream assets in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 50.92.

TheStreet Ratings rates Phillips 66 Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and premium valuation. You can view the full Phillips 66 Partners Ratings Report now.

Magellan Midstream Partners L.P

Owners of Magellan Midstream Partners L.P (NYSE: MMP) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 72 cents per share. At a price of $82.79 as of 9:32 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.5%.

The average volume for Magellan Midstream Partners L.P has been 525,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Magellan Midstream Partners L.P has a market cap of $18.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 0.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. engages in the transportation, storage, and distribution of refined petroleum products and crude oil in the United States. It operates in three segments: Refined Products, Crude Oil, and Marine Storage. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.41.

TheStreet Ratings rates Magellan Midstream Partners L.P as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. 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 Magellan Midstream Partners L.P 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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