I think you're probably right about your broker making a mistake and falsely blaming the company. I used to have monthly dividend problems (normal dividends; not using the 25% rule) from several companies with a certain brokerage and they would give me all kinds of ridiculous excuses that weren't true. I knew they weren't true because I tracked down phone numbers for the transfer agents and they were able to confirm payment, on time, every time, to the broker's clearing house. (After transferring the dividend funds to its transfer agent, a dividend paying company is out of the loop. The idea that they can ask to delay payment after the fact is totally bogus; the money has already left the company's account.) The brokerage dividend monkeys were poorly trained, totally confused, and were grasping at straws to blame anyone but themselves. They also had a very high turnover rate, which perpetuated the problems.
No, the ex-date is September 16. Splits don't use dividend-type dates. The record date was yesterday, Aug 13. Aug 15 doesn't have anything to do with the split.
"my only option is enzn in which I would have to sell shares, and then not get the divvy on the 18th because I'm selling now"
No, if you held ENZN at close of after hours trading yesterday, you'll get the dividend. It's too late to sell and LOSE the dividend. It's already yours, even if it takes a few days to collect.
"that reversal screwed me"
Yeah, it sounds like it did. But it's through confusion at either your broker or their clearing house. It's not caused by ENZN. The company is out of the picture after it pays its transfer agent (who then pays the clearing houses of the brokers). This kind of confusion is very common with dividends under the 25% rule. The minions at the brokers and clearing houses usually assume a dividend will follow normal dividend rules and by the time they figure out it doesn't, it's a ball of confusion that takes time to unwind.
From Understanding Dividend Dates (which you obviously don't):
"The payment of a dividend via due bills is quite unlike a normal dividend payment. Shares that are purchased after the record date but before the deferred ex-date (the due bill period) are traded with a due bill attached. The chain of events that begins on the payment date works like this: The dividend is first paid to the shareholder of record, then, on the due bill settlement date, which is commonly two trading days after the ex-date, the dividend is withdrawn from the account of the shareholder of record who sold the shares during the due bill period and is then paid to the shareholder who bought the shares during the due bill period. The dividend is paid to all shareholders of record first because that is the only information the company has on who is eligible for the dividend. The due bills are then executed by the stock brokerages of the buyers and sellers during the due bill period. The company does not participate in the due bill process."
From the SEC website:
"If the dividend is 25% or more of the stock value, special rules apply to the determination of the ex-dividend date. In these cases, the ex-dividend date will be deferred until one business day after the dividend is paid. If you sell your stock before the ex-dividend date, you also are selling away your right to the stock dividend. Your sale includes an obligation to deliver any shares acquired as a result of the dividend to the buyer of your shares, since the seller will receive an I.O.U. or "due bill" from his or her broker for the additional shares. Thus, it is important to remember that the day you can sell your shares without being obligated to deliver the additional shares is not the first business day after the record date, but usually is the first business day after the stock dividend is paid."
Your smugness obviously has no basis in fact.
" You did not have to keep the shares until Aug 12 to collect the dividend. End of story."
No, the due bill settlement date is the end of the story, and that doesn't come around until next Monday.
"You didn't have to keep the shares until Aug 12 to get the dividend as long as you owned them on the 21st."
You're completely overlooking the due bills. On the due bill settlement date, August 17, the dividend will be removed from your account and forwarded to whoever held the shares at the close of trading on August 12. That's how the 25% rule works.
"this is why you never believe anything you read on a message board without doing your own DD"
Yes, and you obviously haven't done your DD on the due bill process.
"You have to have possessed the stock on the day before the ex-dividend date to get the dividend."
"the dividend, that'll go to whoever was the holder of record at midnight on the ex-div date"
No, it will go to whoever was the holder of record at midnight on the record date, not the ex-date. The ex-date simply takes into account the three day settlement period necessary to become a shareholder of record on the record date.
You bought with due bills attached. You're not entitled to the dividend until the due bill settlement date, which is next Monday. Some brokers credit accounts before then, but they're not obligated to.
"I think this might have to do with shorters.. maybe they have to cover their shorts. I dont know how it works"
Well, you're right about that last part. Today is too late for short sellers to cover to avoid paying the dividend.
The press release doesn't tell the whole story, literally or otherwise. While some brokerages might credit your account sooner, because you bought the stock after July 16 (the record date of July 21 is meaningless in determining who gets the dividend), you are not due the dividend until the due bill settlement date, which is August 17.
"according to the rules (assume special dividend greater than 25%/spin-off) would be three days before the ex-dividend date."
No, that's not a part of the 25% rule. When an ex-date comes after a record date, there is no fixed amount of time required between the two. The company sets the record date and the distribution date within a reasonable amount of time, and most commonly it's a couple weeks, sometimes three or four.
"You would need to be a shareholder of record at least one day prior to the record date."
No, that's not how the 25% rule works either. With all dividends or distributions, no matter if the ex-date is before or after the record date, to qualify for the distribution you would need to buy at least one day before the ex-date, not the record date.
With the 25% rule in effect, there is no need to be a shareholder of record on the record date. The company does indeed pay the distribution to all shareholders of record as of the record date, but due bills attached to all shares sold beginning two days prior to the record date and through the distribution date require that any shareholder of record as of the record date who sells the stock before the ex-date forward the distribution to the buyer.
Yes, it can get complicated, but that's the way the 25% rule works with distributions.
Different brokers credit accounts at different times of the day. Some even wait until the next day. And with this dividend, if you bought the stock from July 17 through today, you're not due the dividend until August 17.
Here's the formula:
One pre-reverse split share trades today at 2.98. Multiply 2.98 times 306, which equals 988.88, double that to 1823.76, minus five, equals 1818.76, multiplied by pi = 5713.82, divide by four, = 1428.45, divide by four again, = 357.11, divide by 239.67, = 1.49, and multiply that by eight and the answer is 11.92.
Of course the actual price used for the calculation will be the closing price on the distribution date, but running that price through this formula will give you the right answer.
"The ex-dividend date generally precedes the record date, usually by four business days"
It hasn't been four business days since 1995! Since 1995, when the trade settlement period was shortened from five days to three, the ex-date for normal dividends is two business days before the record date.