) continues to share more benefits with its shareholders by
increasing the dividend rate. The company has increased the
quarterly dividend rate by 5.5% sequentially and 15.2% year over
year to 38 cents per share.
During first-quarter 2013 earnings call, the board of
directors of ONEOK had announced plans for the current dividend
hike. The new dividend will be paid on Aug 15, 2013, to
shareholders of record as of Aug 5.
It is evident from ONEOK's dividend-payment history that the
company is always on the lookout for maximizing shareholder
wealth. The company intends to raise the total payout by
approximately 55% - 65% between 2012 and 2015, subject to the
board's approval. In the long term, ONEOK is targeting to reach a
dividend payout ratio in the range of 60% - 70%.
ONEOK has increased its dividend 16 times since 2006. The last
quarterly dividend increase was made in Jan 2013. The quarterly
dividend had climbed 9% to 36 cents per share from its earlier
payment of 33 cents per share.
ONEOK's cash flow from operating activities during the first
three months of 2013 was $471.5 million. A strong financial
position allows the company to meet the cash requirements for its
dividend payment and for forthcoming ventures.
Further, ONEOK plans to invest $3 billion in 2013 for several
projects including the commencement of construction of a 270-mile
natural gas gathering system and related infrastructure in Divide
County, ND, and a new 200 million cubic feet per day natural gas
processing facility called the Canadian Valley plant in the
Cana-Woodford Shale, OK.
In addition, the company is in the middle of Garden Creek II
and Garden Creek III projects. These initiatives would add to
ONEOK's profitability in the long run, which will in turn enable
it to provide higher returns to its shareholders.
ATMOS ENERGY CP (ATO): Free Stock Analysis
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ONEOK INC (OKE): Free Stock Analysis Report
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Tulsa, OK-based ONEOK Inc. is a diversified energy company,
operating as a natural gas distributor, primarily in the U.S.
ONEOK currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, other stocks
from the industry that are presently performing well include
AGL Resources Inc.
Atmos Energy Corp.
). Each of them has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).