In order to be entitled to the dividend, you have to buy the stock before the ex-dividend date, and you can't sell the stock until after the ex date. The actual dividend may not be paid for another few weeks. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has compiled a downloadable and sortable list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week or two. The list contains many dividend paying companies, all with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the market capitalization, the ex-dividend date and the yield.
CMS Energy Corporation (CMS) market cap: $5.7B ex-div date: 5/2/2012 yield: 4.3%
E.ON AG (ADR) (EONGY) market cap: $43.1B ex-div date: 5/1/2012 yield: 5.8%
National Penn Bancshares (NPBC) market cap: $1.4B ex-div date: 5/2/2012 yield: 3.1%
Natural Resource Partners LP (NRP) market cap: $2.6B ex-div date: 5/2/2012 yield: 8.9%
Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (PAA) market cap: $13.0B ex-div date: 5/2/2012 yield: 5.2%
Intel Corporation (INTC) market cap: $138.2B ex-div date: 5/3/2012 yield: 3.0%
The Southern Company (SO) market cap: $39.8B ex-div date: 5/3/2012 yield: 4.3%
The additional ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (If you have been to the website before, and the latest link doesn't show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out the high yield utility stocks and the Monthly Dividend Stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com or WSNN.com.
Declaration date: the day that the company declares that there is going to be an upcoming dividend.
Ex-dividend date: the day on which if you buy the stock, you would not be entitled to that particular dividend; or the first day on which a shareholder can sell the shares and still be entitled to the dividend.
Payment date: the day on which the dividend payment is actually made, which can be as long at two months after the ex date.
Don't forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.
Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.