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X Factor: 5 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on December 24

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American Capital Agency, Cypress Semiconductor, and Xcel Energy are on the list.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Nine stocks will reach their ex-dividend date next Monday, which is significant for investors as the seller of the stock on that date, not the buyer, receives the most recent dividend.

A stock must be bought one day before the ex-dividend date to claim any dividends that have been announced but not yet paid. The company determines on the record date, which usually occurs two days after the ex-dividend date, which shareholders qualify for the dividend. Shareholders listed as holders of record after the record date then receive their dividend on the date of payment established by the company. Those purchasing right before the record date forfeit the dividend and normally get the stock for a reduced amount.

It may seem an anachronism in this era of high frequency trading, but the dividend rate rules are in force since it can still take up to three business days for transactions to be credited to and settled in an investor's account.

Below are five stocks that schedule December 24 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

American Capital Agency (NASDAQ:AGNC) yields 16.16% annually and has a market cap of $10.57 billion. The real estate investment trust, or REIT, will pay a quarterly dividend of $1.25 on January 28, and its quarterly yield will be 4.04% based on yesterday's closing price of $30.94. The REIT has paid a quarterly dividend since 2008, and the dividend is down from a high of $1.40 in 2011.

Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY) yields 4.08% annually and has a market cap of $1.56 billion. Cypress Semiconductor Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and markets mixed-signal and programmable solutions worldwide. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.11 on January 17, and its quarterly yield will be 1.02% based on yesterday's closing price of $10.79. Cypress first paid a dividend in 2008 and then began paying a quarterly dividend in the second half of 2011.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) yields 3.95% annually and has a market cap of $13.39 billion. Xcel Energy, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in the United States. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.27 on January 20 and its quarterly yield will be 0.99% based on yesterday's closing price of $27.34. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the second half of 1985. Since 2002, each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) yields 3.89% annually and has a market cap of $145.17 billion. Philip Morris International, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes and other tobacco products. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.85 on January 11, and its quarterly yield will be 0.97% based on yesterday's closing price of $87.39. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 2008, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

Zimmer Holdings (NYSE:ZMH) yields 1.06% annually and has a market cap of $11.92 billion. Zimmer Holdings, through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of orthopedic reconstructive devices, spinal and trauma devices, dental implants, and related surgical products in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.18 on January 25, and its quarterly yield will be 0.26% based on yesterday's closing price of $68.12. The company began paying a quarterly dividend this year.

These companies also have their ex-dividend date on December 24. All annual yields are estimated.

American Capital Mortgage Investment Corporation (NASDAQ:MTGE) yields 14.10% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.90 on January 28.

One Liberty Properties (NYSE:OLP) yields 6.91% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.35 on January 4.

Getty Realty Corporation (NYSE:GTY) yields 2.85% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.125 on January 10.

Bancolombia (NYSE:CIB) yields 2.36% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.3940, but the pay date has not been announced yet.

Purchase -- and have your broker settle -- before the ex-dividend date to secure the dividend.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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