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X Factor: 5 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on September 20

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General Electric, Two Harbors Investment Corp., and Omnicom Group are on the list.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Many 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. Dividends are paid on the dividend record date, usually two business days after the ex-dividend date.

Purchasers must own a stock several days prior to the dividend record date to get the dividend. Those purchasing right before the 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 effect 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 September 20 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

Two Harbors Investment Corp. (TWO) yields 12.18% annually and has a market cap of $3.30 billion. The real estate investment trust, or REIT, will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.36 on October 22. Its quarterly yield will be 3.05% based on yesterday's closing price of $11.82. The REIT has paid a quarterly dividend since the end of 2009.

Gazit-Globe (GZT) yields 3.87% annually and has a market cap of $1.70 billion. The international real estate company will pay a monthly dividend of $0.0996 on October 11. Its quarterly yield will be 0.97% based on last yesterday's closing price of $10.29. The company began paying a dividend this year.

New Jersey Resources Corp. (NJR) yields 3.45% annually. The energy services holding company in northern New Jersey has a market cap of $1.93 billion and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.40 on October 1. Its quarterly yield will be 0.86% based on yesterday's closing price of $46.37. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1988. The dividend has either increased or remained the same as each prior quarter, except for the first quarter of 2008.

General Electric (GE) yields 3.06% annually and has a market cap of $234.83 billion. The international technology and financial services company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.17 on October 25. This dividend results in a quarterly yield of 0.76% based on yesterday's closing price of $22.24. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1962.

Omnicom Group (OMC) yields 2.23% annually and has a market cap of $14.28 billion. The international advertising and marketing company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.30 on October 9. Its quarterly yield will be 0.56% based on yesterday's closing price of $53.77. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1990.
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