TDS, BCE, NDAQ, OMC

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Telephone and Data Systems

Owners of Telephone and Data Systems (NYSE: TDS) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 13 cents per share. At a price of $22.94 as of 4:04 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.3%.

The average volume for Telephone and Data Systems has been 613,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Telephone and Data Systems has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 2.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., a diversified telecommunications service company, provides wireless and wireline telecommunications services in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 80.71.

TheStreet Ratings rates Telephone and Data Systems as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. You can view the full Telephone and Data Systems Ratings Report now.

BCE

Owners of BCE (NYSE: BCE) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 58 cents per share. At a price of $44.58 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 5.2%.

The average volume for BCE has been 705,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. BCE has a market cap of $34.4 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 3.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

BCE Inc. provides communications solutions to residential, business, and wholesale customers primarily in Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.99.

TheStreet Ratings rates BCE as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. You can view the full BCE Ratings Report now.

NASDAQ OMX Group

Owners of NASDAQ OMX Group (NASDAQ: NDAQ) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 13 cents per share. At a price of $32.92 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 1.6%.

The average volume for NASDAQ OMX Group has been 1.6 million shares per day over the past 30 days. NASDAQ OMX Group has a market cap of $5.3 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 27.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. delivers trading, clearing, exchange technology, regulatory, securities listing, and public company services worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.60.

TheStreet Ratings rates NASDAQ OMX Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full NASDAQ OMX Group Ratings Report now.

Omnicom Group

Owners of Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC) shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 40 cents per share. At a price of $63.11 as of 4:01 p.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.6%.

The average volume for Omnicom Group has been 1.7 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Omnicom Group has a market cap of $15.8 billion and is part of the media industry. Shares are up 28% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Omnicom Group Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides advertising, marketing, and corporate communications services in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia pacific. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.71.

TheStreet Ratings rates Omnicom Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. You can view the full Omnicom Group Ratings Report now.

More About Dividends:

One benefit of owning a stock is the potential that you will be paid a dividend. The distribution of dividend payments is another way for a company to share its profit with you. A dividend means that the company pays you a certain amount of money, either as a one-time payment or more commonly on a quarterly basis, for each share of stock you own.

Many times, dividends come at the expense of greater price appreciation, because the company is distributing its profits to shareholders rather than reinvesting the profits back into the growth of the company. However, companies that pay dividends can be very attractive to investors when they offer a steady stream of income. There are some important terms and dates an investor should be familiar with before purchasing any dividend-paying companies. Let's work through an example to help better explain some of these terms:

On March 1, ABC Widget Company has decided that because it holds excess cash and lacks investment opportunities, it would like to reward shareholders with a regular quarterly dividend payment. The date for this particular announcement is known as the declaration date. It is on this date that the company announces the specific dividend payment along with the holder of record date (aka record date) and the payment date. The company announces that a dividend payment of 25 cents per share will be payable March 31, 2012 (the payment date) to all shareholders of record at the close of business on March 16, 2012 (holder of record date). What does this all mean? Well the short story is that the company looks at its records on March 16 and anyone listed on the books as an owner of ABC Widget company will be eligible for the dividend payment (on March 31).

The one other important term to remember is the ex-dividend date. The ex-dividend date (typically two trading days before the holder of record date for U.S. securities) is the day in which a company begins trading without the dividend. In order to have a claim on a dividend, shares must be purchased no later than the last business day before the ex-dividend date. A company trading ex-dividend will have the upcoming dividend subtracted from the share price at the start of the trading day. Many times, the price of a stock will increase in anticipation of the upcoming dividend as the ex-dividend date approaches, yet will fall back by the amount of the dividend on the ex-dividend date.

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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