How to Find Ex-Dividend Dates of Stocks

by Bryan Keythman

    The ex-dividend date is one of the most important dates to know when you invest in stocks for dividends because it helps you determine whether or not you will get paid on the next dividend payment date. In order to receive a company’s next dividend payment, you must buy its stock before its ex-dividend date. If you buy on or after the ex-dividend date, the company pays the dividend to the previous owner. If you already own the stock, you must hold it until the ex-dividend date to qualify for the dividend. You can sell it on or after the ex-dividend date and still receive your cash.

    Step 1

    Visit any financial website that provides stock information. Type a company’s name or its stock’s ticker symbol into the stock quote text box and click “Get Quote” to view the stock’s information. A ticker symbol consists of one or more capital letters that are typically related to a company’s name or line of business.

    Step 2

    Click “Dividends” to view information about the company’s dividends. Alternatively, click “Key Statistics” or a similar link if there is no dividends link.

    Step 3

    Identify the ex-dividend date, or “ex-date,” for the company’s upcoming dividend. If the website shows a list of current and previous dividend payments, the upcoming dividend’s ex-dividend date is typically at the top of the list. For example, assume a stock’s ex-dividend date for its upcoming dividend is June 6. This means you must buy the stock by June 5 to receive the next dividend. If you already own the stock, you must hold it until June 6 to get the dividend.

    Tip

    • If a company has recently paid a dividend and has yet to declare its next dividend, a financial website will display the old ex-dividend date until the next dividend announcement.
    • A dividend’s distribution, or payment, date typically occurs within a few weeks after the ex-dividend date.
    • A stock’s price typically declines by the amount of the upcoming dividend on the ex-dividend date. The stock is worth less on the ex-dividend date because a buyer will not receive the next dividend.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Bryan Keythman has performed stock investment research and writing for a consulting firm since 2008. He also has prior experience sourcing and underwriting commercial real-estate investment and development opportunities for a commercial real-estate developer. Keythman holds a Bachelor of Science in finance.

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