Ex-Dividends To Watch: 3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday: ECT, MAIN, ALGT

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.

Monday, Monday, May 18, 2015, 35 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.6% to 18.7%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday:

ECA Marcellus Trust I

Owners of ECA Marcellus Trust I (NYSE: ECT) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 8 cents per share. At a price of $3.52 as of 10:00 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 9.4%.

The average volume for ECA Marcellus Trust I has been 90,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. ECA Marcellus Trust I has a market cap of $63.0 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 14.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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The company has a P/E ratio of 2.61.

Main Street Capital Corporation

Owners of Main Street Capital Corporation (NYSE: MAIN) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 18 cents per share. At a price of $30.82 as of 10:01 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 6.8%.

The average volume for Main Street Capital Corporation has been 211,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Main Street Capital Corporation has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 5.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Main Street Capital Corporation is a business development company specializing in long- term equity and debt investments in small and lower middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.67.

TheStreet Ratings rates Main Street Capital Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. You can view the full Main Street Capital Corporation Ratings Report now.

Allegiant Travel

Owners of Allegiant Travel (NASDAQ: ALGT) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 25 cents per share. At a price of $165.99 as of 10:00 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.6%.

The average volume for Allegiant Travel has been 161,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Allegiant Travel has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 10.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Allegiant Travel Company, a leisure travel company, focuses on the provision of travel services and products to residents of under-served cities in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.43.

TheStreet Ratings rates Allegiant Travel as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. You can view the full Allegiant Travel 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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