Shares of Williams Partners LP (NYSE:WPZ) have earned an average rating of “Buy” from the eighteen brokerages that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, eleven have issued a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 12 month price target among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $44.67.

WPZ has been the topic of several research analyst reports. TheStreet upgraded shares of Williams Partners from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 30th. BMO Capital Markets set a $47.00 price objective on shares of Williams Partners and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 2nd. Citigroup Inc. upgraded shares of Williams Partners from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $41.00 to $46.00 in a research note on Friday, April 7th. Jefferies Group LLC upgraded shares of Williams Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $42.00 to $44.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Williams Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th.

Williams Partners (NYSE WPZ) traded down 0.73% on Friday, reaching $39.42. 1,049,456 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Williams Partners has a 12 month low of $32.93 and a 12 month high of $42.32. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $39.76 and a 200 day moving average of $40.27. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.68 billion, a PE ratio of 23.68 and a beta of 1.43.

Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The pipeline company reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $1.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.13 billion. Williams Partners had a return on equity of 5.97% and a net margin of 17.82%. Equities analysts predict that Williams Partners will post $0.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 11th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 4th will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 2nd. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.09%. Williams Partners’s dividend payout ratio is currently 143.71%.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. FMR LLC increased its stake in Williams Partners by 7.6% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 28,381,957 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,158,835,000 after buying an additional 2,001,870 shares in the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Williams Partners by 3.6% in the second quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 18,454,035 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $740,191,000 after buying an additional 639,747 shares in the last quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. increased its stake in shares of Williams Partners by 2.4% in the second quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 11,413,024 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $457,776,000 after buying an additional 263,922 shares in the last quarter. UBS Group AG increased its stake in shares of Williams Partners by 12.5% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 7,766,761 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $317,117,000 after buying an additional 865,490 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Atlantic Trust Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Williams Partners by 45.2% in the first quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 5,419,374 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $221,273,000 after buying an additional 1,687,346 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 23.35% of the company’s stock.

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About Williams Partners

Williams Partners L.P. is an energy infrastructure company. The Company has operations across the natural gas value chain from gathering, processing, and interstate transportation of natural gas and natural gas liquids to petchem production of ethylene, propylene, and other olefins. It operates through its Northeast G&P, Atlantic-Gulf, West segment.

Analyst Recommendations for Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ)

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