Looking at the universe of stocks we cover at Dividend Channel, on 12/21/17, Medifast Inc (MED - Get Report), Capella Education Company (CPLA), and Advance Auto Parts Inc (AAP) will all trade ex-dividend for their respective upcoming dividends. Medifast Inc will pay its quarterly dividend of $0.48 on 2/8/18, Capella Education Company will pay its quarterly dividend of $0.43 on 1/18/18, and Advance Auto Parts Inc will pay its quarterly dividend of $0.06 on 1/5/18.

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As a percentage of MED's recent stock price of $73.65, this dividend works out to approximately 0.65%, so look for shares of Medifast Inc to trade 0.65% lower — all else being equal — when MED shares open for trading on 12/21/17. Similarly, investors should look for CPLA to open 0.53% lower in price and for AAP to open 0.06% lower, all else being equal.

Below are dividend history charts for MED, CPLA, and AAP, showing historical dividends prior to the most recent ones declared.

Medifast Inc (MED - Get Report):

MED+Dividend+History+Chart

Capella Education Company (CPLA):

CPLA+Dividend+History+Chart

Advance Auto Parts Inc (AAP):

AAP+Dividend+History+Chart

In general, dividends are not always predictable, following the ups and downs of company profits over time. Therefore, a good first due diligence step in forming an expectation of annual yield going forward, is looking at the history above, for a sense of stability over time. This can help in judging whether the most recent dividends from these companies are likely to continue. If they do continue, the current estimated yields on annualized basis would be 2.61% for Medifast Inc, 2.12% for Capella Education Company, and 0.23% for Advance Auto Parts Inc.

In Tuesday trading, Medifast Inc shares are currently up about 0.3%, Capella Education Company shares are up about 0.3%, and Advance Auto Parts Inc shares are down about 0.4% on the day.