According to Zacks, “Well positioned to take advantage of the nation's natural gas supply growth, Williams' large-scale value-creating projects position it for strong returns even in a low commodity price environment. The positives led the company to report decent second-quarter 2016 results. We appreciate the recently announced decision to divest Canadian businesses. The proceeds will help the company expand its existing pipeline networks and reduce debt levels. However, we believe that the termination of the Energy Transfer merger deal is a big blow to the company that will negatively affect its shareholders. Williams’ high debt levels have also been a concern. Considering these factors, we see limited upside from current levels and take a cautious stance on WMB stock.”
Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Evercore Partners Inc. boosted their price objective on shares of Williams Cos. from $24.00 to $29.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Williams Cos. in a report on Monday, June 27th. Vetr raised shares of Williams Cos. from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $22.78 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 21st. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $25.00 target price on shares of Williams Cos. in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Tudor Pickering raised shares of Williams Cos. from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 21st. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $29.82.
Shares of Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) opened at 29.53 on Monday. Williams Cos. has a 52-week low of $10.22 and a 52-week high of $42.17. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $29.89 and its 200-day moving average price is $23.84. The stock’s market cap is $22.17 billion.
Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 1st. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.22 by $0.03. Williams Cos. had a negative net margin of 16.82% and a positive return on equity of 2.14%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.15 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Williams Cos. will post $0.64 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 26th. Investors of record on Friday, September 9th were given a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.75%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 7th. Williams Cos.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -49.38%.
In related news, VP Ted T. Timmermans sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.23, for a total value of $52,460.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 13,803 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $362,052.69. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 8.87% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WMB. FMR LLC raised its stake in Williams Cos. by 41.7% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 62,583,375 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,353,678,000 after buying an additional 18,424,792 shares during the period. Senator Investment Group LP purchased a new stake in Williams Cos. during the second quarter worth $102,742,000. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. raised its stake in Williams Cos. by 356.5% in the second quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. now owns 4,684,932 shares of the company’s stock worth $101,335,000 after buying an additional 3,658,600 shares during the period. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. raised its stake in Williams Cos. by 25.7% in the second quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 14,509,285 shares of the company’s stock worth $313,836,000 after buying an additional 2,965,439 shares during the period. Finally, Point72 Asset Management L.P. raised its stake in Williams Cos. by 659.9% in the second quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 3,294,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $71,254,000 after buying an additional 2,860,700 shares during the period. 83.73% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About Williams Cos.
The Williams Companies, Inc is an energy infrastructure company focused on connecting North America’s hydrocarbon resource plays to markets for natural gas, natural gas liquids and olefins. The Company’s segments include Williams Partners, Williams NGL & Petchem Services, and Other. Its Williams Partners segment consists of its consolidated partnership in Williams Partners L.P., including gas pipeline, which consists of interstate natural gas pipelines and pipeline joint project investments, and midstream business, which provides natural gas gathering, treating, processing and compression services.
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