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X Factor: 5 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on April 10

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MFA Financial, General Dynamics Corporation, and Accenture are on the list.

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Many stocks will reach their ex-dividend date next Monday, 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 April 10 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

MFA Financial (NYSE:MFA) yields 9.31% annually and has a market cap of $3.40 billion. The real estate investment trust, or REIT, will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.22 on April 30, and its quarterly yield will be 0.61% based on yesterday's closing price of $9.48. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1988.

General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) yields 3.31% annually and has a market cap of $23.80 billion. The aerospace and defense company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.56 on May 10. Its quarterly yield will be 0.84% based on yesterday's closing price of $67. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1979, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) yields 2.11% annually and has a market cap of $49.84 billion. The global provider of consulting services will pay a semi-annual dividend of $0.81 on May 15, and the semi-annual yield will be 1.06% based on yesterday's closing price of $76.67. The company first paid an annual dividend from 2005 through 2009 and then switched to a semi-annual dividend in 2010.

Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) yields 1.98% annually and has a market cap of $30.59 billion. The global operator of quick service restaurants will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.335 on April 3, and its quarterly yield will be 0.48% based on yesterday's closing price of $70.15. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the second half of 2004.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) yields 0.96% annually and has a market cap of $15.51 billion. The operator of a chain of natural and organic foods supermarkets will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.20 on April 23, and its quarterly yield will be 0.24% based on yesterday's closing price of $84.51. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 2004.

These companies also have their ex-dividend date on April 10. All annual yields are estimated.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUKH) yields 5.08% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.3237 on April 15.

Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN) yields 0.72% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.125 on April 30.

Patterson Companies (NYSE:PDCO) yields 1.72% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.16 on April 30.

Roper Industries (NYSE:ROP) yields 0.53% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.165 on April 26.

Sasol (NYSE:SSL) yields 2.40% annually and will pay a semi-annual dividend of $0.5229 on April 25.

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

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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