Williams Partners L.P. Now Covered by Oppenheimer (WPZ)
Equities researchers at Oppenheimer began coverage on shares of Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) in a research report issued on Tuesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm set a “market perform” rating on the stock.
The analysts wrote, “We initiate coverage of Williams Partners (WPZ) with a Perform rating and do not assign a price target. Fundamentals of the dry natural gas business remain challenged. This is being offset by liquids-rich businesses including Marcellus gathering & processing. And while the outlook is positive for the ethylene production business, we are concerned with WPZ’s commodity price exposure. In addition, distribution coverage is expected to remain below 1x through 2014. We appreciate management’s confidence in the future (they continue to raise the distribution at a rapid rate despite weak coverage) but question this strategy given our preference for a more conservative approach.”
Shares of Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) opened at 49.42 on Tuesday. Williams Partners L.P. has a 52 week low of $45.01 and a 52 week high of $55.48. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $50.3 and its 200-day moving average is $50.80. The company has a market cap of $20.455 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.52.
Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The company reported $0.31 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.06. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.22 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Williams Partners L.P. will post $1.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
WPZ has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at Merrill Lynch upgraded shares of Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note to investors on Friday, August 23rd. Separately, analysts at Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note to investors on Friday, August 23rd. They now have a $55.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $51.00. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, analysts at TheStreet downgraded shares of Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note to investors on Friday, August 16th.
Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. Williams Partners L.P. has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.30.
Williams Partners L.P. is a limited partnership formed by The Williams Companies, Inc (NYSE:WPZ).
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