Monday, Monday, February 29, 2016, 18 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 1.2% to 8.2%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday:

Sun Life Financial

Owners of Sun Life Financial (NYSE: SLF) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 28 cents per share. At a price of $30.07 as of 9:37 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 3.9%.

The average volume for Sun Life Financial has been 468,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Sun Life Financial has a market cap of $17.7 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 4.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Sun Life Financial Inc., a financial services organization, provides protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.93.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sun Life Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a decline in the stock price during the past year and poor profit margins. You can view the full Sun Life Financial Ratings Report now.

DST Systems

Owners of DST Systems (NYSE: DST) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 33 cents per share. At a price of $108.17 as of 9:34 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.2%.

The average volume for DST Systems has been 274,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. DST Systems has a market cap of $3.7 billion and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are down 5.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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DST Systems, Inc. provides technology-based information processing and servicing solutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.91.

TheStreet Ratings rates DST Systems as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and relatively strong performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. You can view the full DST Systems Ratings Report now.

Lear

Owners of Lear (NYSE: LEA) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 30 cents per share. At a price of $100.67 as of 9:37 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.2%.

The average volume for Lear has been 882,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lear has a market cap of $7.3 billion and is part of the automotive industry. Shares are down 18.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Lear Corporation designs, develops, engineers, manufactures, assembles, and supplies automotive seating, electrical distribution systems, and related components primarily to automotive original equipment manufacturers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seating and Electrical. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.26.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lear as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Lear 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.