What Is a Stock Ex-Dividend Date?

The ex-dividend date represents the first day following a dividend declaration, which is when a stock purchaser is no longer eligible to receive the next dividend payment, notes Charles Schwab. This date is usually designated two days before the record date, notes the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website.

The ex-dividend date determines whether a buyer or seller is eligible to receive a dividend payment, reports the SEC. Financial investors who sell stocks before the ex-dividend date are essentially forfeiting their right to a dividend payment for that period. Dividends are typically paid in cash, but in some cases they can be paid as additional stock shares. Certain rules also dictate the timing of the ex-dividend date when a dividend payment represents a significant portion of a stock's total value.

Investors can visit the Nasdaq website to find a list of upcoming ex-dividend dates for various stocks. The relevant information includes the company name and ticker symbol, the ex-dividend date, the dividend amount, the record date and the payment date. Visitors can also search a particular company to see if an ex-dividend date is approaching. An actual dividend payment can impact the price of the underlying stock, notes the SEC.