"The PR Newswire press release issued by BLYTH on August 8th says ex-dividend is October 1st"
No, it doesn't. It says the record date is October first. Record date and ex-date are not the same thing.
"Yahoo key stats page shows ex-dividend is September 27th. Safe to assume company issued release is correct?"
In this case both are correct because the press release doesn't mention the ex-date.
"How do you verify which is correct?"
You have to realize that record date and ex-date are not the same thing, then read the press releases carefully. If you do a google search for Understanding Dividend Dates, and read the first return, you'll never be confused on this point again.
" I think ... someone made a killing shorting today"
How? Today is the ex-date and it didn't drop as much as the adjustment for the dividend, so was actually UP 7.77%. Yahoo's quote didn't account for the adjustment. The basis for today's change was 10.42, not 14.02.
"Ex date for dividends for this stock was 9/9/13"
"I bought stock on 9/9/13 and I noticed my account is not credited."
Nor will it be. The ex-date (9-9 in this case) is the first day a stock trades WITHOUT the right to the dividend. Only buyers BEFORE 9-9 get the dividend.
"Record day was Sept 27"
No, that was the last day to buy the stock and be qualified to receive the dividend. It's highly unusual for a company to mention in a press release what the last day to buy for the dividend would be, but they did. The same press release of 9-18 doesn't mention the record date, but it's Oct 2.
"I think ex-div is actually Sept. 30th"
Then you would be wrong. That's the record date. The ex-date was indeed 9-26.
With a circumstance in which the declared dividend represents 25% or more of a stock's trading price, the ex-date is the first business day following the payment date.
Reverse split of 1 for 12? Another at 1 for 15? A total consolidation of 1 for 180?
And that's bad?
May I point out that in facing the headwinds of an uncertain market, a drag coefficient of 1 is preferable to 12 and 1 compared to 15 is even better. And when you talk about 1 for 180, why, you're almost immune to to those unfavorable headwinds.
And you talk as though it's a bad thing.
"some says 10/31/2013, some says 11/4/2013"
The ones that say 10-31 are giving the ex-date. The ones saying 11-4 are giving the record date.
"in order to get the dividend, you need to buy the stock no later than November 4th"
No. 11-4 is the record date. The last day to buy the stock and get the dividend (why anyone would ant to is another question) is 10-30.
"I don't think the 3 days settlement matters"
Of course it matters. The whole purpose of the ex-date is to take into account the three day settlement period necessary to be a shareholder of record on the record date.
"ex-dividend, i.e. the last day you can buy shares and get the distribution or dividend"
No, the ex-date is the first day to buy shares and NOT get the dividend.
"i am in a time loop"
Yeah, sure, that explains it.
"Per the proxy and numerous announcements, the Record Date for the Special Dividend is Nov 1."
"That would make today, 10/30, the ex-dividend date."
No, it wouldn't.
"However, the stock is certainly not trading at a price that reflects the ex-date."
No, it isn't, and that's because the ex-date is December 31st, not October 30th. Because of the size of the distribution relative to the stock price, this distribution does not follow normal dividend rules. The company made note of that fact in their announcement of the distribution: "The dividend is payable on December 30, 2013 to shareholders of record as of November 1, 2013. ... As required by NASDAQ rules governing special dividends of this magnitude, the ex-dividend date will be set one business day following the payment date."
"Is the ex div date 11/07/13?"
No, it's 11-6. It would've been 11-7 but 11-11 is Veteran's day and Veteran's day does not count in determining dividend dates because although the stock exchanges are open, the banks are closed.
"1) My TD Ameritrade account still doesn't show any rights (or shares of STXSR). ... I will get them sometime next week?"
Your account doesn't have them because they haven't been paid out yet. Whether you get them next week or not depends on when the payment date is, and it hasn't been announced yet.
"2) If so, will the "rights" themselves have any value, and if so can I sell on the open market with my online account?"
The rights have value as demonstrated by the fact they began trading on November 1st. Yes, you will be able to sell them, but whether or not you have to do it by calling your broker instead of placing the trade online remains to be seen. Most likely you can trade them online, but that's not certain.
"3) If the rights themselves don't have any value (and I can't sell through my online account), the way I understand it (to exercise) is to call your broker and you pay $3 cash for a share of STXS for every right?"
As noted above, they do have value and you can sell them, but if you want to exercise them, then yes, you have to call your broker. But it's not $3 cash for a share of STXS for every right, it's $3 per share for every three rights. Each right entitles the holder to buy one third of a share, not one whole share.
"4) So if #3 above is indeed accurate, then isn't it a no-brainer that everyone should exercise now since you can make about $1 a share based on Friday's closing price?"
Look at the five day chart. Does that look like the share price will reliably be $4 at the time of the rights payment date or does it look like there might be some risk involved?
"5) I originally bought 2,000 shares of STXS but sold 600 on Friday. Does that mean I only have 1,400 rights now?"
You don't have any rights yet. You have to hold until the ex-date to receive any rights, and the ex-date hasn't yet been determined. From the press release: "The ex-rights date for the rights offering is pending and will be announced once it is established by NASDAQ."