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X Factor: 5 Stock Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on October 18

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Caterpillar, Hormel Foods Corporation, and Hospitality Properties Trust are on the list.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Twenty-one stocks will reach their ex-dividend date tomorrow, 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 October 18 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

Hospitality Properties Trust (NYSE:HPT) yields 7.75% annually and has a market cap of $3.00 billion. The hotel real estate investment trust, or REIT, will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.47 on November 21, and its quarterly yield will be 1.94% based on yesterday's closing price of $24.27. The REIT has paid a quarterly dividend since the second half of 1995, with the exception of 2009, when it paid only one dividend.

Government Properties Income Trust (NYSE:GOV) yields 7.48% annually and has a market cap of $1.08 billion. The office REIT will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.43 on November 21, and its quarterly yield will be 1.87% based on yesterday's closing price of $23.00. The REIT has paid a quarterly dividend since the second half of 2009.

Senior Housing Properties Trust (NYSE:SNH) yields 6.97% annually and has market cap of $3.95 billion. The senior housing properties REIT will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.39 on November 20, and its quarterly yield will be 1.74% based on yesterday's closing price of $22.38. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 2000. Each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.
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