You can pay $17.63 today and do no worse tomorrow on the theory that if you bought tomorrow 80 cents lighter, you'd be paying the same price. This stock was in the early twenties, you're still on the low side for a purchase.
Shorts will get killed who tried their hand and are GUARENTEED to lose the divvy overnight, so I see another 80 cents on this investment today minimum as they scramble to get out.
Anything less than yesterday's close is going to be scrambled after hand over fist today as the market blows chunks in the wake of Europe, and folks naturally gravitate to high yield plays and bonds.
The ex-dividend date is two business days prior to the record date. To be a stockholder on the record date you must purchase the stock before the ex-dividend date. The latest date you can buy the stock to be a stockholder on record and be entitled to the dividend would be one day prior to the ex-dividend date to allow for the three stock trading day settlement of the stock purchase.