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X Factor: 5 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on January 17

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PNM Resources, Hormel Foods Corporation, and Graco are on the list.

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Five stocks will reach their ex-dividend date next Thursday, 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 four stocks that schedule January 17 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

PNM Resources (NYSE:PNM) yields 2.87% annually and has a market cap of $1.61 billion. PNM operates in the energy sector and specializes in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.145 on February 15. The quarterly yield will be 0.71% based on yesterday's closing price of $20.28. The company first paid a quarterly dividend from the end of 1984 to the beginning of 1989 and resumed paying a quarterly dividend in 1996.

Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) yields 1.98% annually and has a market cap of $9.05 billion. Hormel produces and sells meat and food products. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.17 on February 15. The quarterly yield will be 0.49% based on yesterday's closing price of $34.51. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the end of 1991.

Graco (NYSE:GGG) yields 1.85% annually and has a market cap of $3.25 billion. Graco produces and sells systems and equipment to pump, meter, mix, and dispense various fluids and semi-solids. It operates in the global market and in three segments, namely industrial, contractor, and lubrication. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.25 on February 6, and its quarterly yield will be 0.46% based on yesterday's closing price of $54.05. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1987, and each dividend has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

Apache Group (NYSE:APA) yields 0.85% annually and has a market cap of $31.30 billion. Operating as an independent energy company, Apache explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.17 on February 22, and its quarterly yield will be 0.21% based on yesterday's closing price of $79.60. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1972, except for 2001 and 2002 when the company paid a semi-annual dividend.

CR Bard (NYSE:BCR) yields 0.77% annually and has a market cap of $8.50 billion. C. R. Bard specializes in the design, production, and selling of medical, surgical, diagnostic, and patient care devices for the global market. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.20 on February 1. Its quarterly yield will be 0.19% based on yesterday's closing price of $102.95. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1983, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

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

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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