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Marathon Petroleum Going Ex-Dividend: Buy for Its Payout, Not for a Long-Term Investment

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Marathon Petroleum (MPC - Get Report) have jumped this year to $57.80 -- compared with $45.13 at the end of 2014 and $44.46 a year ago -- even amid volatile oil prices. Marathon, headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, has dominated the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE), which its down more than 12% this year.

With Marathon's stock scheduled to go ex-dividend Monday, August 17, it's worth asking how much potential the stock has. Right now it's about $5 from its 52-week high. To qualify for a dividend check, investors must have owned the stock on or before Friday, August 14. That's the last day that Marathon will acknowledge its roster of shareholders and know who to send dividend checks to.

A "dividend capture" can be lucrative. This is where investors or...