As a natural gas master limited partnership, Oneok (OKE - Get Report)'s business should seem familiar to investors who pursue income instruments. Essentially, Oneok's business is more about cash generation than anything else -- and its legal structure allows it to pass through the vast majority of its earnings directly to shareholders. That dividend payout increased 7.7% last week to 56 cents per share.
Oneok has been living up to its directive in the last couple of years, dramatically increasing its dividend payouts as the profitability of its natural gas operations continues to improve. The regulated nature of much of Oneok's business has been a good thing for the predictability of earnings, but it could be less attractive if Wall Street's bullish take on natural gas prices pans out as predicted.This stock remains a solid alternative for investors looking for less common exposure to commodity-driven income. Oneok is one of TheStreet Ratings' top-rated gas utility stocks.