Why You Should Own Ex-Dividend Stocks Whole Foods and American Express

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of high-end grocer Whole Foods Market (WFM) and credit card company American Express (AXP) are both scheduled to go ex-dividend June 30. To qualify for a dividend check, investors must own shares of either company prior to July 2, if playing the strategy known as dividend capture.

The strategy consists of buying stocks for the sole purpose of collecting the quarterly dividend and then immediately selling the stock within days after the dividend cash payment has been paid the company. In this case, Whole Foods is scheduled to pay its 13-cent quarterly payout July 14, while American Express investors will have to wait until August 10 to receive their check, paying 29 cents a share.

Whether in bear or bull markets, dividend Capture, also known as buying dividend, can be a lucrative strategy that lessens risk associated with holding stocks for the long term.

In the case of Whole Foods and American Express, however, holding for the long term can also be rewarding. With both stocks having suffered considerable punishment in the first six months of the year, they make solid bounce-back candidates for the second half of 2015.

Consider first the merits of Whole Foods. 

WFM Chart
WFM data by YCharts

Austin, Tex.-based Whole Foods prides itself on organic and natural foods. But the company's stock has starved investors so far in 2015.

Competition from cheaper alternatives sold at the likes of Kroger (KR) and Walmart (WMT) has pressured Whole Foods' profits, sending its shares down almost 18% on the year. But this makes Whole Foods more compelling for the second half of 2015 -- and beyond.

More consumers are moving toward healthier lifestyle and eating habits, which should benefit Whole Foods' ability to grow sales. What's more, Whole Foods has begun to fight competition by embracing smaller store models that are more user friendly among many shoppers.

The smaller stores can not only help Whole Foods generate higher consumer traffic, but also lower costs. This concept has worked for both Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) and Starbucks (SBUX). The company ended its second quarter with a total of 417 stores, but plans to grow its store count 20% in the next two years.

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