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X Factor: 5 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on December 6

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PPL Corporation, H&R Block, and Occidental Petroleum Corporation are on the list.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Many 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 five stocks that schedule December 6 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) yields 4.96% annually and has market cap of $16.93 billion. PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity to wholesale and retail customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.36 on January 2, and its quarterly yield will be 1.24% based on yesterday's closing price of $29.06. The company has paid a dividend since 1985.

H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) yields 4.41% annually and has a market cap $4.93 billion. H&R Block, through its subsidiaries, engages in the provision of tax preparation and related services to the general public in the United States, Canada, and Australia. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.20 on January 2, and its quarterly yield will be 1.10% based on yesterday's closing price of $18.16. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the end of 1986.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) yields 2.83% annually and has a market cap of $61.61 billion. Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.54 on January 15, and its quarterly yield will be 0.71% based on yesterday's closing price of $76.26. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1982, and the dividend has increased or remained the same from the prior quarter since 1991.

Nexen (NYSE:NXY) yields 0.85% annually and has a market cap of $12.59 billion. The global energy company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.05 on January 1, and its quarterly yield will be 0.21% based on yesterday's closing price of $23.45. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1992, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

Nike (NYSE:NKE) yields 0.85% annually and has a market cap of $44.01 billion. Nike, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, marketing, and sale of footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories for men, women, and children worldwide. It will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.21 on December 26, and its quarterly yield will be 0.21% based on yesterday's closing price of $98.97. Nike has paid a quarterly dividend since 1987, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

These companies also have their ex-dividend date on December 6. All annual yields are estimated.

Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) yields 4.27% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.29 on December 27.

CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) yields 3.26% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.45 on December 26.

Ensco (NYSE:ESV) yields 2.63% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.375 on December 21.

The Travelers Company (NYSE:TRV) yields 2.47% annually and will pay a special dividend of $0.50 on December 28.

HollyFrontier Corporation (NYSE:HFC) yields 1.77% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.20 on December 21.

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

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
The author has a position in Occidental Petroleum Corporation.
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