Dividend Watch: 3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday: HRZN, GHC, WST

Monday, Monday, July 18, 2016, 11 U.S. common stocks are scheduled to go ex-dividend. The dividend yields on these stocks range from 0.6% to 13.6%. All of these stocks can be found on our stocks going ex-dividend section of our dividend calendar.

Highlighted Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Monday:

Horizon Technology Finance

Owners of Horizon Technology Finance (NASDAQ: HRZN) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 12 cents per share. At a price of $13.22 as of 9:34 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 10.6%.

The average volume for Horizon Technology Finance has been 56,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Horizon Technology Finance has a market cap of $150.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 12.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Horizon Technology Finance Corporation is a business development company specializing in lending and and investing in development-stage investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 39.55.

TheStreet Ratings rates Horizon Technology Finance as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full Horizon Technology Finance Ratings Report now.

Graham Holdings

At a price of $510.97 as of 9:30 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.9%.

The average volume for Graham Holdings has been 23,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Graham Holdings has a market cap of $2.9 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 4.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Graham Holdings Company, through its subsidiaries, operates as a diversified education and media company worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.72.

TheStreet Ratings rates Graham Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. You can view the full Graham Holdings Ratings Report now.

West Pharmaceutical Services

Owners of West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE: WST) shares, as of market close today, will be eligible for a dividend of 12 cents per share. At a price of $78.32 as of 9:32 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 0.6%.

The average volume for West Pharmaceutical Services has been 471,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. West Pharmaceutical Services has a market cap of $5.7 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 30% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. develops, manufactures, and sells packaging and delivery systems in the United States, Germany, France, Other European countries, and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 67.76.

TheStreet Ratings rates West Pharmaceutical Services 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, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full West Pharmaceutical Services 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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