Shares of W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW) will begin trading ex-dividend on Thursday, May 4. To qualify for a dividend check, investors must have owned W.W. Grainger shares prior to Thursday, which is the last day the company's management will finalize its roster of shareholders to whom it will mail payments.

W.W. Grainger stock, which currently trades around $189 per share, has declined about 18.48% year to date, including some 25% declines in the past three months. This compares with a 6.64% year-to-date rise in the S&P 500 index (SPX). W.W. Grainger stock has declined 19.26% over the past twelve months, while the S&P 500 has risen 14.15%. (See also: Why W.W. Grainger (GWW) Could Be Positioned for a Slump.)

In its fiscal first quarter earnings results, reported in April, the Lake Forest, IL-based company missed Wall Street estimates on earnings per share and missed on revenue. The company reported adjusted earnings of $2.88 per share, which missed analysts' projections by 11 cents. First quarter revenue of $2.54 billion grew 1.2% year over year, missing Wall Street estimates by $20 million.

Looking ahead, for the fiscal second quarter ending June, W.W. Grainger is expected to deliver $2.67 per share, down from $2.89 a year ago, on revenue of $2.62 billion, up 2.3% year over year. For the full year, ending December, earnings are projected to decline 9.5% year over year to $10.47 per share, while revenue of $10.38 billion would mark a 2.4% rise year over year.

Based on W.W. Grainger's current stock price of around $189, the company’s $1.22-per share quarterly dividend yields 2.51% annually, or about 51 basis points above the 2.00% average yield of the S&P 500 index. W.W. Grainger will send its dividend payment on June 1 to shareholders of record as of May 8. The stock has a consensus Hold rating and an average analyst 12-month price target of $198, implying potential returns of 4.57% from current levels.

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