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

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SLM Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store are on the list.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Twelve 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. 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 October 17 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

SLM Corporation (NASDAQ:SLMAP) yields 7.19% annually and has a market cap of $22.76 billion. The originator and financier of private education loans will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.8712 on October 31, and its quarterly yield will be 1.80% based on yesterday's closing price of $48.48. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the end of 2003.

Vale SA (NYSE:VALE) yields 6.24% annually and has a market cap of $94.67 billion. The Brazil-based global producer and seller of metals will pay a semi-annual dividend of $0.5735 on November 7, and its semi-annual yield will be 3.12% based on yesterday's closing price of $18.37. The company paid a semi-annual dividend from the second half of 2002 to 2010, except for 2007 when it only paid one dividend. Last year, Vale paid a quarterly dividend and switched back to a semi-annual dividend this year.

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) yields 3.27% annually and has a market cap of $189.25 billion. The manufacturer and seller of branded consumer packaged goods will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.562 on November 15, and its quarterly yield will be 0.82% based on yesterday's closing price of $68.71. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the end of 1970. Each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.
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