Should you buy these popular dividend shares before they go ex-dividend?

This week there will be many popular shares going ex-dividend for their respective interim or final dividends.

Three of the most popular shares amongst this group are listed below, should you buy them before they go ex-dividend?

Greencross Limited (ASX: GXL)

This integrated pet care company’s shares will go ex-dividend on Tuesday for its 10 cents per share fully franked interim dividend. Based on its last close price, Greencross’ shares provide a trailing fully franked 3.2% yield. Whilst this isn’t the biggest yield on offer on the local share market, I think it does have the potential to grow meaningfully in the future as the roll out of its in-store veterinary clinics gathers pace. During the first-half of FY 2018, the stores that already have in-store clinics inside them delivered an impressive 7.5% increase in like-for-like sales, compared to a 4% increase across all its Australian retail stores.

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)

On Thursday this mining giant’s shares go ex-dividend for its massive 228.53 cents per share fully franked final dividend, which is then expected to be paid to eligible shareholders on April 12. This was a 40% increase on the prior corresponding dividend and means that its shares now provide a trailing fully franked 4.5% yield. Whilst Rio Tinto isn’t my first pick in the resources sector, I think it is a great option for investors. With the global economy looking strong, I expect commodity prices will remain favourable and lead to another bumper profit result in FY 2018. This should put Rio Tinto in a position to increase its dividend further.

Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)

The shares of this retail conglomerate go ex-dividend on Thursday for its fully franked interim dividend of 43 cents per share. This will then be paid to eligible shareholders on April 6. Like Rio Tinto, Woolies increased its dividend significantly year-on-year, meaning its shares provide a trailing fully franked 3.5% yield today. Whilst I felt that last week’s half-year result was a solid one, I think its shares are close to being fully valued now. In light of this, I wouldn’t be a buyer unless they were cheaper and its yield was greater.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Greencross Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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