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

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Frontier Communications Corporation, Gannett Co., and American Realty Capital Trust 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. (See also: 10 Undervalued Dividend-Paying Stocks With Momentum.)

Below are five high-yield stocks that schedule September 5 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

Ferrellgas Partners (FGP) yields 9.76% annually and has a market cap of $1.62 billion. The propane gas distributor will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.50 on September 14. Its quarterly yield will be 2.44% based on Friday's closing price of $20.50. The company has paid a $0.50 quarterly dividend since the end of 1994.

For its third quarter, which ended on April 30, Ferrellgas saw an increase in net income year-over-year. Net income increased from $3.1 million, or $0.04 per share, in the prior-year quarter to $20.6 million, or $0.26 per share, in the recent quarter. Net income estimates were around $0.20 per share. Less expenses helped net income increase year-over-year. Warmer weather hurt revenue, though, by reducing the amount of propane used during the winter. Revenue fell 14% from $732.4 million in the prior-year quarter to $629.6 million. Expectations for revenue were around $659.5 million.

Frontier Communications Corporation (FTR) yields 8.66% annually and has a market cap of $4.61 billion. The communications company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.10 on September 28. Its quarterly yield will be 2.16% based on Friday's closing price of $4.62. The company began paying a dividend in 1990, but the dividend was suspended in 2001. The dividend restarted again in the middle of 2004 as a quarterly dividend.

The company's performance in its second quarter of this year was weaker than expected. Net income decreased 44.2% from $32.3 million, or $0.03 per share, in the prior-year quarter to $18 million, or $0.02 per share, for the recent quarter. Revenue fell 4.8% from the prior-year quarter to $1.26 billion. Analysts had expected net income of $0.05 per share on $1.26 billion in revenue. This is the second consecutive quarter that Frontier has missed expectations. The average estimate for Frontier's third-quarter net income have dropped from $0.06 per share to $0.05 per share. The full-year average net income estimate has fallen from $0.24 per share to $0.20 per share.

American Realty Capital Trust (ARCT) yields 5.93% annually. The real estate investment trust has a market cap of $1.87 billion and will pay a monthly dividend of $0.05958 on September 15. Its monthly yield will be 0.50% based on last Friday's closing price of $11.80. The company began paying a monthly dividend this year.

The company has increased its property assets 31% from $1.629 billion in the prior-year quarter to $2.139 billion in the recent quarter. American Realty Capital increased revenue from $3.3 million in the first quarter of 2012 to $8.2 million in its second quarter of this year.

Gannett Co. (GCI) yields 5.24% annually and has a market cap of $3.53 billion. The media and marketing company, which owns USA Today, 81 other newspapers, and 23 television stations, will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.20 on October 1. Its quarterly yield will be 1.31% based on last Friday's closing price of $15.26. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the middle of 1985. The dividend shrunk to $0.04 in 2009 and has risen since then.

The company struggled during its second quarter of this year. Its net income decreased 21% from $151.5 million, or $0.62 per share, in the prior-year quarter to $119.9 million, or $0.51 per share, for its recent quarter. Revenue declined 2% from $1.33 billion in the prior-year quarter to $1.31 in the recent quarter. Gannett's broadcasting and digital operations has been strong with digital revenue growing 29% from the second quarter of last year, but advertising revenue has declined 8% from $646.9 million in the prior-year quarter to $594.3 million in the recent quarter. Despite the lower numbers, Gannett beat analysts' net income expectations of $0.53 per share.

Westar Energy (WR) yields 4.53% annually and has a market cap of $3.68 billion. The largest electric utility in Kansas will will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.33 on October 1. This dividend results in a monthly yield of 1.13% based on last Friday's closing price of $29.12. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the middle of 1987. The dividend reached a low of $0.19 in 2003, and it has risen every year since the beginning in 2005.

The warmer weather and higher energy prices during the company's second quarter this year resulted in stronger energy sales. Net income increased 39.82% from the prior-year quarter to $61.36 million in the second quarter of this year. Westar produces energy through coal, wind, nuclear, natural gas, oil, and diesel.

These companies also have their ex-dividend date on September 5. All annual yields are estimated.

American National Insurance (ANAT) yields 4.36% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend $0.77 on September 21.

Waste Management (WM) yields 4.11% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.355 on September 21.

Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) yields 3.54% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.74 on October 2.

Diamondrock Hospitality Co. (DRH) yields 3.33% annually and will pay a $0.08 dividend on September 19.

PepsiCo (PEP) yields 2.97% annually and will pay a quarterly $0.5375 dividend on September 28.

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

(See also: 11 High-Quality Dividend-Paying Stocks to Consider Ahead of First Quarter.)

(See also: SEC Says Retail Investors Are Clueless About Stocks.)

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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