AGNC typically declares a dividend every quarter. If you want the next AGNC dividend ($1.25), you must buy AGNC before the After Hours Market closes tomorrow (Friday). You may then sell your shares as early as the open on Monday, and you will still be entitled to the dividend, which will be credited to your account on April 26th. The following dates should answer your questions.
Mar 07, 2013 AGNC Dividend of $1.25 declared
Mar 18, 2013 AGNC Ex-dividend date
Mar 20, 2013 AGNC Record date
Apr 26, 2013 AGNC Payable date
For a greater understanding of what these dates actually mean, here are some definitions from investopedia:
Declaration date - This is the date on which the board of directors announces to shareholders and the market as a whole that the company will pay a dividend.
Ex-date or Ex-dividend date - On (or after) this date the security trades without its dividend. If you buy a dividend paying stock one day before the ex-dividend you will still get the dividend, but if you buy on the ex-dividend date, you won't get the dividend. Conversely, if you want to sell a stock and still receive a dividend that has been declared you need to sell on (or after) the ex-dividend day. The ex-date is the second business day before the date of record.
Date of record - This is the date on which the company looks at its records to see who the shareholders of the company are. An investor must be listed as a holder of record to ensure the right of a dividend payout.
Date of payment (payable date) - This is the date the company mails out the dividend to the holder of record. This date is generally a week or more after the date of record so that the company has sufficient time to ensure that it accurately pays all those who are entitled.
Is there an issue here of a buy order needing to settle first before I go down as being a shareholder on record ... as of March 15th, 2013? If an order takes 3 business days to settle wouldn't I have needed to buy on Tuesday to go on record as a shareholder on Friday? (Or is the settling of the order a cash thing). Once again my ignorance is shining through.