Williams Cos. (WMB) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research
Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Monday.
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.”
A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on WMB. Stephens began coverage on shares of Williams Cos. in a research note on Thursday, September 29th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $32.00 target price for the company. Royal Bank Of Canada began coverage on shares of Williams Cos. in a research note on Monday, September 26th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $39.00 target price for the company. RBC Capital Markets began coverage on shares of Williams Cos. in a research note on Monday, September 26th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $39.00 target price for the company. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 target price (up from $31.00) on shares of Williams Cos. in a research note on Wednesday, October 5th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 target price on shares of Williams Cos. in a research note on Sunday. Five investment 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. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $29.82.
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Shares of Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) traded down 0.704% on Monday, hitting $28.925. 1,941,468 shares of the company traded hands. Williams Cos. has a 1-year low of $10.22 and a 1-year high of $42.48. The firm’s market capitalization is $21.71 billion. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $29.85 and its 200 day moving average is $23.63.
Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) last issued its earnings results on Monday, August 1st. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 previous year, the business earned $0.15 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Williams Cos. will post $0.64 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 9th were issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 7th. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.75%. Williams Cos.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -49.38%.
In other news, VP Ted T. Timmermans sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.23, for a total transaction of $52,460.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 13,803 shares in the company, valued at $362,052.69. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 8.87% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Williams Cos. by 41.7% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 62,583,375 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,353,678,000 after buying an additional 18,424,792 shares during the period. Senator Investment Group LP acquired a new position in shares of Williams Cos. during the second quarter valued at $102,742,000. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. increased its position in shares of 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 valued at $101,335,000 after buying an additional 3,658,600 shares during the period. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. increased its position in shares of 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 valued at $313,836,000 after buying an additional 2,965,439 shares during the period. Finally, Point72 Asset Management L.P. increased its position in shares of 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 valued at $71,254,000 after buying an additional 2,860,700 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 83.73% of the company’s stock.
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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