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X Factor: 5 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on March 26

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Windstream Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, and Staples are on the list.

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Many stocks will reach their ex-dividend date next Tuesday, 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 March 26 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

Windstream Corporation (NASDAQ:WIN) yields 11.38% annually and has a market cap of $5.19 billion. The provider of communication and technology solutions in the US will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.25 on April 15. Its quarterly yield will be 2.85% based on yesterday's closing price of $8.76. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 2005.

The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) yields 3.86% annually and has a market cap of $39.93 billion. The manufacturer and supplier of chemical products will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.32 on April 30, and the quarterly yield will be 0.96% based on yesterday's closing price of $33.27. The company has paid a dividend since 1900 and a quarterly dividend since 1904.

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) yields 3.56% annually and has a market cap of $9 billion. The office products company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.12 on April 18, and its quarterly yield will be 0.85% based on yesterday's closing price of $13.44. The company has paid a dividend since 2004, and a quarterly dividend since 2009.

Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX) yields 2.66% annually and has a market cap of $10.59 billion. The global provider of business process and document management services worldwide will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.0575 on April 30, and its quarterly yield will be 0.66% based on yesterday's closing price of $8.66. The company first paid a quarterly dividend from 1977 through the first quarter of 2001 and resumed paying a quarterly dividend at the end of 2007.

US Bancorp (NYSE:USB) yields 2.29% annually and has a market cap of $63.5 billion. The financial services holding company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.195 on April 15, and its quarterly yield will be 0.57% based on yesterday's closing price of $34.13. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the end of 1987.

These companies also have their ex-dividend date on March 19. All annual yields are estimated.

Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY) yields 3.86% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.11 on April 18.

Diamondrock Hospitality Co. (NYSE:DRH) yields 3.65% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.085 on April 12.

Glimcher Realty Trust (NYSE:GRT) yields 3.48% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.10 on April 15.

Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) yields 3.17% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.3675 on April 10.

Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) yields 1.47% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.065 on April 11.

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

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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