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X Factor: 5 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on February 20

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GlaxoSmithKline, Limited Brands, and Mattel 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 February 20 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) yields 5.14% annually and has a market cap of $109.96 billion. The pharmaceutical company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.6894 on April 11, and its quarterly yield will be 1.51% based on yesterday's closing price of $45.56. The company has paid a dividend since 1987 and a quarterly dividend since 2002.

Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD) yields 2.68% annually and has a market cap of $12.90 billion. The women's apparel company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.30 on March 8, and its quarterly yield will be 0.67% based on yesterday's closing price of $44.72. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1990, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) yields 3.51% annually and has a market cap of $14.08 billion. The producer of toy products will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.36 on March 8, and its quarterly yield will be 0.88% based on yesterday's closing price of $40.99. The company first paid a dividend in 1982 through 1983 and resumed paying a dividend in 1990.

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) yields 2.67% annually and has a market cap of $29.07 billion. The global cruise and vacation company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.25 on March 15. Its quarterly yield will be 0.67% based on yesterday's closing price of $37.46. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1994.

PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) yields 1.70% annually and has a market cap of $21.33 billion. The producer of protective and decorative coatings will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.59 on March 12, and the quarterly yield will be 0.42% based on yesterday's closing price of $139.11. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the second half of 1972, 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 19. All annual yields are estimated.

Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA) yields 4.60% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.305 on March 15.

Healthcare Services Group (NASDAQ:HCSG) yields 2.82% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.1662 on March 15.

Park National Corporation (NYSEAMEX:PRK) yields 1.70% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.59 on March 12.

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) yields 1.63% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.22 on March 15.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) yields 1.13% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.17 on March 29.

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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