Diary of a Dividend Diva: A Barrage of Payouts

 | Nov 04, 2012 | 7:45 PM EST
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Something big is going to happen Nov. 7. Yes, we will (presumably) have certainty on who will be the U.S. president for the next four years. But that won't be the real news. That day will be another of what I like to call "Dividend D-Days" -- a day when a ton of great payouts will go ex-dividend, meaning you want to own the stocks now for any you want to capture.  

The dividend D-days usually come in the second month of the quarter -- companies report earnings in the first month, then declare dividends, with record dates a few weeks later. All you dividend-capture traders want to keep a close eye on these days, as they are a good way to pick up a ton of income fairly quickly.

In this case, there could be a double-play. If the markets rally on the elimination of uncertainty regarding the election, you could pick up some nice capital gains, as well.

Here are the names going ex-dividend Wednesday. In order to play any, you need to buy them Monday or Tuesday. 

'Dividend D-Day' Payouts
Source: FactSet

Of these many names, I am intrigued by MetLife (MET) due to the size of the payout at 2.13%, as well as uniform company Cintas (CTAS), which has good earnings momentum and a reasonable valuation at 16x earnings. Macerich (MAC) is a reliable dividend payer that is in the sweet spot, with a 1% payout. I play this name quarter in and quarter out, and have yet to encounter a situation in which I cannot sell within a reasonable time period. I am also playing Pfizer (PFE). The big pharmaceutical names pay well, and their stability is a good thing in case the market does move against us.

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