What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks OKS, OKE, BMO

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer

TheStreet Ratings' stock model projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Our Buy, Hold or Sell ratings designate how we expect these stocks to perform against a general benchmark of the equities market and interest rates.

While plenty of high-yield opportunities exist, investors must always consider the safety of their dividend and the total return potential of their investment. It is not uncommon for a struggling company to suspend high-yielding dividends which could subsequently result in precipitous share price declines.

TheStreet Ratings' stock rating model views dividends favorably, but not so much that other factors are disregarded. Our model gauges the relationship between risk and reward in several ways, including: the pricing drawdown as compared to potential profit volatility, i.e. how much one is willing to risk in order to earn profits?; the level of acceptable volatility for highly performing stocks; the current valuation as compared to projected earnings growth; and the financial strength of the underlying company as compared to its stock's valuation as compared to its stock's performance.

These and many more derived observations are then combined, ranked, weighted, and scenario-tested to create a more complete analysis. The result is a systematic and disciplined method of selecting stocks. As always, stock ratings should not be treated as gospel — rather, use them as a starting point for your own research.

The following pages contain our analysis of 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

ONEOK Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.10%

ONEOK Partners (NYSE: OKS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.10%.

ONEOK Partners, L.P. engages in the gathering, processing, storage, and transportation of natural gas in the United States. It operates in three segments: Natural Gas Gathering and Processing; Natural Gas Liquids; and Natural Gas Pipelines. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.57.

The average volume for ONEOK Partners has been 917,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. ONEOK Partners has a market cap of $7.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates ONEOK Partners as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its reasonable valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • OKS, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 38.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 42.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for ONEOK PARTNERS -LP is rather low; currently it is at 15.67%. Regardless of OKS's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, OKS's net profit margin of 8.06% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ONEOK PARTNERS -LP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $65.12 million or 85.81% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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