For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – July 30, 2012 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include ONEOK Partners L.P. (OKS), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. (KMP), CBS Corporation (CBS), News Corporation (NWSA) and Comcast Corporation (CMCSA).
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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:
ONEOK Ups Quarterly Distribution
ONEOK Partners L.P. (OKS) said that its board of directors approved a 2.5 cent increase in the quarterly distribution rate. The fresh distribution rate of 66 cents per unit will be effective from the second quarter of 2012 and is scheduled to be paid on August 15, 2012 to unitholders of record as of August 6, 2012.
The partnership’s new annualized cash distribution rate stands at $2.64 per unit, up from the earlier rate of $2.54 per unit by 3.9%. ONEOK Partners has time and again raised its distribution rate and the distribution level has surged by 65% since April 2006.
The partnership has been increasing its quarterly cash distribution rate on a regular basis. The partnership has raised its cash distribution rate by 2.5 cents in each of the first two quarters of 2012, which is in line with its goal of increasing the distribution rate by the same margin in every quarter of 2012. The partnership aims to gradually increase its quarterly cash distribution rate and realize a 15% to 20% annual distribution growth in 2013 and 2014.
The partnership revised its capital program and plans to invest $5.7 billion to $6.6 billion on investment projects through 2014. These developmental initiatives would add to ONEOK’s profitability in the long run which will enable it to provide higher returns to unitholders. ONEOK Partners’ natural gas liquids business (NGL) continues to do well, generating healthy distributable cash flow for the ongoing year.
We believe the partnership will continue to ride high on its NGL operations and growth projects which would aid in keeping investors interest strong in the coming years.
ONEOK Partners currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. The partnership closest competitor is Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. (KMP). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second quarter and full year 2012 are currently estimated at 70 cents per share and $2.91 per share, respectively.
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ONEOK Partners is involved in the gathering, processing, storage and transportation of natural gas in the U.S. and owns one of the nation's premier natural gas liquids (NGL) systems, connecting NGL supply in the Mid-Continent and Rocky Mountain regions with key market centers.
CBS Enhances Shareholder Value
In a bid to enhance shareholder’s value, CBS Corporation (CBS) recently announced that its Board of Directors have agreed to enhance its share repurchase program and hike the quarterly cash dividend.
The share repurchase authorization will rise by 57% to $4.7 billion from the initial program announced in January 2011. Under the new program, the company has already repurchased shares of worth $1.7 billion, with $3 billion remaining for future repurchases. The company aims to complete the new share repurchase program by the end of 2014.
Additionally, the board of directors also approved a 20% rise in its quarterly cash dividend to 12 cents from 10 cents a share.
The increased dividend will be paid on October 1, 2012 to the shareholders of record as of September 10, 2012. The annualized dividend yield based on the increased dividend and current stock price is 1.5%.
Previously, on May 3, 2011, CBS doubled its dividend to 10 cents from 5 cents per share.
CBS, which competes with News Corporation (NWSA) and Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), has been actively managing its cash flows by generating healthy free cash, making prudent capital investments and enhancing shareholders’ return. The company generated free cash flow of $607 million, incurred capital expenditures of $39 million, repurchased shares worth of $269 billion in the first quarter and ended with cash and cash equivalents of $794 million.
The company’s decision to increase its share repurchases authorization and dividend clearly suggests the ability to generate liquidity and its potential to improve in the long run.
CBS remains well positioned to drive revenue growth in the coming quarters through its strategic initiatives and operating efficiencies. Management remains optimistic and expects growth momentum to continue in fiscal 2012 based on reverse compensation from affiliates, strong demand of its content and online video streaming, retransmission consent, and political advertising.
Based on better-than-expected first quarter 2012 results and ability to generate strong free cash flow, CBS Corporation carries Zacks #2 Rank, implying a short-term Buy rating. We also maintain our long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock.
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