Williams Companies, Inc. (The) (NYSE:WMB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Well positioned to take advantage of the nation's natural gas supply growth, Williams Companies' large-scale value-creating projects position it for strong returns even in a low commodity price environment. Additionally, Williams is increasing its quarterly dividend by 50% and has announced its plans to increase its stake in the Williams Partners subsidiary to 72%. This is expected to position the company for long-term, sustainable growth as well as solidify investment-grade credit ratings of its subsidiary. 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 brokerages have also weighed in on WMB. Barclays PLC upgraded shares of Williams Companies, Inc. (The) from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $28.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday. Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on shares of Williams Companies, Inc. (The) in a report on Tuesday, May 16th. They set an “outperform” rating on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded shares of Williams Companies, Inc. (The) from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, May 8th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $33.00 price objective on shares of Williams Companies, Inc. (The) and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, March 20th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price objective on shares of Williams Companies, Inc. (The) in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Williams Companies, Inc. (The) has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $32.47.

Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE:WMB) traded down 0.92% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $31.15. 4,599,676 shares of the stock were exchanged. Williams Companies, Inc. has a 12-month low of $22.39 and a 12-month high of $32.69. The stock has a market cap of $25.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 2076.67 and a beta of 1.38. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $29.37 and a 200-day moving average of $29.47.

Williams Companies, Inc. (The) (NYSE:WMB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The pipeline company reported $0.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.06. Williams Companies, Inc. (The) had a return on equity of 3.74% and a net margin of 0.18%. The firm had revenue of $1.99 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.98 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.03 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Williams Companies, Inc. will post $0.99 earnings per share for the current year.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: “Williams Companies, Inc. (The) (NYSE:WMB) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research” was originally posted by American Banking News and is the sole property of of American Banking News. If you are viewing this piece of content on another website, it was stolen and republished in violation of U.S. and international trademark and copyright law. The original version of this piece of content can be viewed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/07/18/williams-companies-inc-the-nysewmb-lowered-to-hold-at-zacks-investment-research.html.

In other news, VP Ted T. Timmermans sold 1,000 shares of Williams Companies, Inc. (The) stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.73, for a total transaction of $30,730.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 13,094 shares in the company, valued at $402,378.62. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Robyn L. Ewing sold 81,561 shares of Williams Companies, Inc. (The) stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.14, for a total transaction of $2,539,809.54. Following the sale, the insider now owns 47,003 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,463,673.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have bought 38,750 shares of company stock worth $1,107,110 and have sold 92,561 shares worth $2,876,240. Company insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Diversified Trust Co raised its stake in Williams Companies, Inc. (The) by 1.2% in the second quarter. Diversified Trust Co now owns 28,116 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $851,000 after buying an additional 346 shares in the last quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. raised its stake in Williams Companies, Inc. (The) by 4.2% in the second quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 22,331 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $676,000 after buying an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Williams Companies, Inc. (The) by 1.0% in the second quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 51,300 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,553,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in Williams Companies, Inc. (The) by 11.8% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 304,973 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $9,118,000 after buying an additional 32,123 shares in the last quarter. Finally, LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in Williams Companies, Inc. (The) by 2.8% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 24,253 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $734,000 after buying an additional 663 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.54% of the company’s stock.

Williams Companies, Inc. (The) Company Profile

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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Williams Companies, Inc. (The) (WMB)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Williams Companies, Inc. (The) (NYSE:WMB)

Receive News & Ratings for Williams Companies Inc. (The) Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Williams Companies Inc. (The) and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.