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X Factor: 5 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on December 7

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CenturyLink, Best Buy, and The Men's Wearhouse are on the list.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Seven stocks will reach their ex-dividend date this coming Friday, 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 7 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) yields 7.47% annually and has a market cap of $24.25 billion. CenturyLink operates as an integrated telecommunications company in the United States. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.725 on December 21, and its quarterly yield will be 1.87% based on Friday's closing price of $38.84. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1987, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) yields 5.19% annually and has a market cap of $4.42 billion. Best Buy operates as a retailer of consumer electronics, computing and mobile phone products, entertainment products, appliances, and related services primarily in the United States, Europe, Canada, and China. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.17 on January 2, and its quarterly yield will be 1.30% based on Friday's closing price of $13.11. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the end of 2003. Other than the second dividend payment, each dividend has increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

The Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW) yields 2.22% annually and has a market cap of $1.64 billion. The Men's Wearhouse, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty apparel retailer in the United States and Canada. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.18 on December 21, and its quarterly yield will be 0.55% based on Friday's closing price of $32.44. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 2006.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) yields 1.56% annually and has a market cap of $55.56 billion. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.2125 on December 21, and its quarterly yield will be 0.39% based on Friday's closing price of $54.39. The company has paid a dividend since 1990, and the company began paying a quarterly dividend in 2010.

Virgin Media (NASDAQ:VMED) yields 0.45% annually and has a market cap of $9.58 billion. The entertainment and communications services provider in the UK will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.04 on December 21, and its quarterly yield will be 0.11% based on Friday's closing price of $35.17. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 2006.

These companies also have their ex-dividend date on December 7. All annual yields are estimated.

Laclede Group (NYSE:LG) yields 4.18% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.425 on January 3.

Telus Corporation (NYSE:TU) yields 3.95% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.64 on January 2.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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