Williams Companies Target of Unusually High Options Trading (WMB)

Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Friday. Stock traders purchased 14,005 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 705% compared to the average daily volume of 1,740 call options.

Shares of Williams Companies (NYSE WMB) opened at $29.29 on Monday. Williams Companies has a 12-month low of $26.82 and a 12-month high of $32.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.38, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a current ratio of 0.97. The firm has a market cap of $24,215.42, a price-to-earnings ratio of 49.64, a PEG ratio of 3.13 and a beta of 1.37.

Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The pipeline company reported $0.15 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.19 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $1.89 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.79 billion. Williams Companies had a return on equity of 3.23% and a net margin of 5.90%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.20 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Williams Companies will post 0.72 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 26th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be issued a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.10%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 7th. Williams Companies’s payout ratio is 210.53%.

In other news, insider Donald R. Chappel sold 272,088 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.32, for a total transaction of $8,249,708.16. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 60,032 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,820,170.24. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Alan S. Armstrong purchased 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $27.23 per share, with a total value of $163,380.00. Following the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 345,527 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,408,700.21. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 283,501 shares of company stock valued at $8,590,124 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.53% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of WMB. Capital International Investors grew its holdings in Williams Companies by 1,660.2% in the second quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 7,384,300 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $223,597,000 after purchasing an additional 6,964,791 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Williams Companies by 9.9% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 64,872,653 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,964,347,000 after purchasing an additional 5,850,607 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its holdings in Williams Companies by 4,652.7% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,822,264 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $146,019,000 after purchasing an additional 4,720,801 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in Williams Companies by 4.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 64,062,726 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,939,819,000 after purchasing an additional 2,671,905 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its holdings in Williams Companies by 47.1% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 6,174,675 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $186,965,000 after purchasing an additional 1,978,314 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.86% of the company’s stock.

WMB has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Williams Companies in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. BidaskClub cut shares of Williams Companies from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on shares of Williams Companies from $34.00 to $33.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 price objective on shares of Williams Companies in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Finally, Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of Williams Companies in a research report on Monday, September 25th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $34.00 price objective for the company. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Williams Companies has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $33.83.

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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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