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X Factor: 5 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on July 31

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Plains All American Pipeline, CMS Energy, and Pfizer are on the list.

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Many stocks will reach their ex-dividend date next Wednesday, 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 July 31 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

Plains All American Pipeline (NYSE:PAA) yields 4.26% annually and has a market cap of $18.69 billion. The company transports and stores crude oil and refined products in the US and Canada; it will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.5875 on August 14, and its quarterly yield will be 1.05% based on yesterday's closing price of $55.84. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1999.

CMS Energy (NYSE:CMS) yields 3.67% annually and has a market cap of $7.37 billion. The energy company, which primarily operates in Michigan, will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.255 on August 30, and the quarterly yield will be 0.90% based on yesterday's closing price of $28.39. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the end of 1989.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) yields 3.28% annually and has a market cap of $207.33 billion. The biopharmaceutical company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.24 on September 4, and the quarterly yield will be 0.82% based on yesterday's closing price of $29.42. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1984, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

Capitol Federal Financial (NASDAQ:CFFN) yields 2.34% annually and has a market cap of $1.84 billion. The holding company of the Capitol Federal Savings Bank will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.075 on August 16, and the quarterly yield will be 0.58% based on yesterday's closing price of $12.83. The company has paid a dividend since 1998, and each payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

Ford (NYSE:F) yields 2.29% annually and has a market cap of $68.22 billion. The global vehicle company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.10 on September 3, and the quarterly yield of the dividend will be 0.59% based on yesterday's closing price of $16.94. The company first paid a quarterly dividend from 1956 through 2006 and resumed paying a quarterly dividend last year.

These companies also have their ex-dividend date on July 31. All annual yields are estimated.

Main Street Capital (NYSE:MAIN) yields 5.89% annually and will pay a monthly dividend of $0.155 on August 15.

PNM Resources (NYSE:PNM) yields 2.83% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.165 on August 15.

Pall Corporation (NYSE:PLL) yields 1.42% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.25 on August 16.

PetSmart (NASDAQ:PETM) yields 0.93% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.165 on August 16.

Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG) yields 0.83% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.15 on August 28.

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

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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