as in the title: some companies announce earnings and the exdividedn date is much later. Example: B&M announced their earnings last week, exdiv. will be the 20th of August and payout in September. What is the point in having such long timeframes? I can imagine people flocking to the stock to get the guaranteed dividend but that cannot be the only reason.
Usually the answer is “admin”
Giving your Registrar sufficient notice is usually key. Old school investors might have Certificated holdings or whatever. Electronically held Nominees are not usually the issue.
Could also be “admin” from the point of view that a lot of Securities Lending positions - especially for retail investors - are unwound before Ex to save complexities of manufactured dividends and being exposed to your counterparties taxation status that might differ from yours.
Regarding everyone flocking to the stock – not sure retail people always actively choose to sacrifice a capital gain liability for an income tax liability (ISAs, Pensions aside). In either case - makes no difference. Stock will fall by exactly the value of the dividend at the moment of market open on ex dividend date - then market forces will take over and move the stock in whatever position the supply/demand balance takes it.
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