Williams Companies Sees Unusually High Options Volume (WMB)
Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Stock traders acquired 6,901 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 231% compared to the average volume of 2,083 call options.
Shares of Williams Companies (NYSE WMB) opened at 28.81 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $30.18 and a 200-day moving average price of $29.69. Williams Companies has a 12 month low of $19.60 and a 12 month high of $32.69. The firm has a market cap of $23.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 1920.67 and a beta of 1.35.
Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The pipeline company reported $0.14 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.20 by $0.06. Williams Companies had a positive return on equity of 2.16% and a negative net margin of 15.19%. The company had revenue of $1.99 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.98 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.03 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Williams Companies will post $0.98 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 9th will be given a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 7th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.17%. Williams Companies’s dividend payout ratio is currently -53.69%.
A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. Deutsche Bank AG assumed coverage on Williams Companies in a research report on Friday, February 10th. They set a “hold” rating and a $32.00 price target on the stock. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $33.00 price target on shares of Williams Companies in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. Wells Fargo & Co raised Williams Companies from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Scotiabank reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $30.00 price target on shares of Williams Companies in a research report on Thursday, April 27th. Finally, Citigroup Inc raised Williams Companies from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $32.00 to $36.00 in a research report on Friday, April 7th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $32.32.
In other Williams Companies news, Director Charles I. Cogut purchased 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 10th. The shares were bought at an average price of $30.63 per share, with a total value of $30,630.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,630. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Robyn L. Ewing sold 81,561 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.14, for a total value of $2,539,809.54. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 47,003 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,463,673.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 92,561 shares of company stock worth $2,876,240 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.53% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. FMR LLC boosted its stake in shares of Williams Companies by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 79,894,750 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $2,487,922,000 after buying an additional 973,256 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Williams Companies by 21.7% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 61,390,821 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,816,554,000 after buying an additional 10,933,027 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Williams Companies by 2,942.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 59,022,046 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,746,463,000 after buying an additional 57,082,116 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Williams Companies by 9.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 42,289,708 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,251,350,000 after buying an additional 3,565,627 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lone Pine Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Williams Companies by 76.6% in the fourth quarter. Lone Pine Capital LLC now owns 16,327,936 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $508,452,000 after buying an additional 7,080,689 shares in the last quarter. 80.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Williams Companies
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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