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X Factor: 5 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on May 31

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Old Republic International Corporation, Regal Entertainment Group, and China Mobile are on the list.

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Many stocks will reach their ex-dividend date next Friday, 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 May 31 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

Old Republic International Corporation (NYSE:ORI) yields 5.24% annually and has a market cap of $3.54 billion. The underwriter of insurance products will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.18 on June 14, and its quarterly yield will be 1.29% based on yesterday's closing price of $13.93. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 2003, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC) yields 4.53% annually and has a market cap of $2.86 billion. The theater operator will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.21 on June 14, and the quarterly yield will be 1.12% based on yesterday's closing price of $18.69. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since the end of 2002.

China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) yields 3.91% annually and has a market cap of $211.97 billion. The provider of mobile telecommunications services will pay a semi-annual dividend of $1.03 on July 8, and the semi-annual yield will be 1.94% based on yesterday's closing price of $53.22. The company has paid a semi-annual dividend since 2003.

NV Energy (NYSE:NVE) yields 3.76% annually and has a market cap of $4.73 billion. The generator and distributor of electricity in Nevada company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.19 on June 19, and the quarterly yield of the dividend will be 0.95% based on yesterday's closing price of $20.07. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1995.

Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU) yields 2.57% annually and has a market cap of $46.96 billion. The integrated energy company will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.20 on June 25, and the quarterly yield will be 0.64% based on yesterday's closing price of $31.40. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1994, and each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

These companies also have their ex-dividend date on May 31. All annual yields are estimated.

TAL International Group (NYSE:TAL) yields 6.16% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.66 on June 25.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) yields 3.17% quarterly and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.35 on June 20.

Tidewater (NYSE:TDW) yields 1.79% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.25 on June 14.

Steris Corporation (NYSE:STE) yields 1.51% quarterly and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.19 on June 25.

Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) yields 0.83% annually and will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.1875 on June 19.

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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