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X Factor: 4 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on February 7

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AmeriGas Partners and Olin Corporation are on the list.

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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 four stocks that schedule February 7 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

AmeriGas Partners (NYSE:APU) yields 7.39% annually and has a market cap of $4.02 billion. The seller of propane gas will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.80 on February 19, and its quarterly yield will be 1.85% based on yesterday's closing price of $43.29. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the second half of 1995.

Olin Corporation (NYSE:OLN) yields 3.44% annually and has a market cap of $1.87 billion. The producer of chlor alkali products will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.20 on March 11, and its quarterly yield will be 0.86% based on yesterday's closing price of $23.26. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1988, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained from the prior quarter.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) yields 2.33% annually and has a market cap of $427.73 billion. The iPhone maker will pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 on February 14, and the quarterly yield will be 0.58% based on yesterday's closing price of $455.49. The company first paid a quarterly dividend from 1987 through 1995 and resumed paying a quarterly dividend last year.

Altera Group (NASDAQ:ALTR) yields 1.20% annually and has a market cap of $10.68 billion. The semiconductor company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.10 on March 1, and its quarterly yield will be 0.30% based on yesterday's closing price of $33.42. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 2007, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

These companies also have their ex-dividend date on February 7. All annual yields are estimated.

US Global Investors (NASDAQ:GROW) yields 6.17% annually and will pay a monthly dividend of $0.005 on March 8.

United Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:UBNK) yields 2.67% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.10 on March 3.

Access National Corporation (NASDAQ:ANCX) yields 2.32% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.09 on February 25.

Southern National Bancorp of Virginia (NASDAQ:SONA) yields 2.15% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.05 on February 22.

Monarch Financial Holdings (NASDAQ:MNRK) yields 2.14% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.05 on February 28.

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

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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