Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.
According to Zacks, “Well positioned to take advantage of the nation's natural gas supply growth, Williams Companies' large-scale value-creating projects position it for strong returns even in a low commodity price environment. In particular, increased energy growth prospects in North America is set to unlock attractive opportunities, which is expected to position the company for long-term, sustainable revenues as well as solidify its credit profile. An attractive dividend growth and strong, sustainable coverage are other positives in the Williams story. However, we believe that the termination of the Energy Transfer merger deal was a big blow to the company. Williams’ high debt levels and continued hurdles in its Constitutional Pipeline Project have also been major concerns. Considering these factors, we take a cautious stance on WMB stock.”
Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Scotiabank reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $36.00 price objective on shares of Williams Companies in a research report on Monday, January 29th. Barclays cut shares of Williams Companies from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $36.00 to $35.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. ValuEngine cut shares of Williams Companies from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. UBS Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 price objective (down previously from $37.00) on shares of Williams Companies in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. Finally, Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of Williams Companies in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Williams Companies has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $35.27.
Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) traded up $0.71 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $27.40. 5,001,433 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,661,544. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26, a current ratio of 0.82 and a quick ratio of 0.78. Williams Companies has a fifty-two week low of $24.76 and a fifty-two week high of $33.67. The company has a market capitalization of $23,280.99, a PE ratio of 10.44 and a beta of 1.38.
Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The pipeline company reported $0.20 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.20. Williams Companies had a net margin of 27.07% and a return on equity of 3.38%. The business had revenue of $2.23 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.16 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted ($0.02) earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Williams Companies will post 0.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, insider James E. Scheel sold 26,915 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.00, for a total transaction of $888,195.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Ted T. Timmermans sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.28, for a total transaction of $56,560.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 17,945 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $507,484.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 32,915 shares of company stock valued at $1,057,995 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.53% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Williams Companies by 12.4% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 77,428,540 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $2,360,797,000 after acquiring an additional 8,532,633 shares during the period. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. lifted its position in shares of Williams Companies by 0.5% during the third quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 15,290,873 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $458,879,000 after buying an additional 78,109 shares during the last quarter. Harvest Fund Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Williams Companies by 2.9% during the third quarter. Harvest Fund Advisors LLC now owns 11,275,449 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $338,376,000 after buying an additional 317,446 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its position in shares of Williams Companies by 11.3% during the fourth quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 10,568,640 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $322,238,000 after buying an additional 1,075,388 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Williams Companies by 3.2% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 8,885,229 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $270,355,000 after buying an additional 274,292 shares during the last quarter. 86.53% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Williams Companies Company Profile
The Williams Companies, Inc is an energy infrastructure company. The Company is focused on connecting North America’s hydrocarbon resource plays to markets for natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), and olefins. As of December 31, 2016, its interstate gas pipelines, midstream and olefins production interests were held through its investment in Williams Partners L.P.
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