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 to clients and investors 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.”
Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on WMB. Vetr upgraded shares of Williams Cos. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $22.78 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating on shares of Williams Cos. in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 target price on shares of Williams Cos. in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of Williams Cos. in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $24.00 target price for the company. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Tudor Pickering raised shares of Williams Cos. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 21st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $29.82.
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Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) traded down 0.55% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $28.97. The stock had a trading volume of 1,920,113 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $29.85 and a 200 day moving average price of $23.63. Williams Cos. has a 1-year low of $10.22 and a 1-year high of $42.48. The company’s market cap is $21.75 billion.
Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 1st. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.03. Williams Cos. had a positive return on equity of 2.14% and a negative net margin of 16.82%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.15 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Williams Cos. will post $0.64 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 26th. Investors of record on Friday, September 9th were paid a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 7th. Williams Cos.’s payout ratio is presently -49.38%.
In related news, VP Ted T. Timmermans sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.23, for a total value of $52,460.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 13,803 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $362,052.69. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 8.87% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Groesbeck Investment Management Corp NJ boosted its stake in shares of Williams Cos. by 1.4% in the first quarter. Groesbeck Investment Management Corp NJ now owns 121,458 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,952,000 after buying an additional 1,684 shares during the period. Chubb Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Williams Cos. during the first quarter valued at approximately $5,625,000. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Williams Cos. by 2.2% in the first quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 369,782 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,913,000 after buying an additional 7,800 shares during the period. Omni Partners LLP acquired a new stake in shares of Williams Cos. during the first quarter valued at approximately $2,449,000. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Williams Cos. by 4.0% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,759,903 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,282,000 after buying an additional 67,745 shares during the period. 83.73% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Williams Cos. Company Profile
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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