Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) Trading Up 8.4%

Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) shares were up 8.4% during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $13.00 and last traded at $14.01, approximately 8,685,091 shares were traded during trading. A decline of 65% from the average daily volume of 25,089,110 shares. The stock had previously closed at $12.92.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on WMB shares. Mizuho reduced their target price on Williams Companies from $29.00 to $27.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, February 19th. Stifel Nicolaus reduced their target price on Williams Companies from $30.00 to $25.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, March 17th. Sanford C. Bernstein raised Williams Companies from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $25.00 to $21.00 in a research note on Thursday, March 12th. TD Securities boosted their target price on Williams Companies from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 21st. Finally, Barclays raised Williams Companies from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $16.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $25.23.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.37, a current ratio of 0.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.23. The company has a market capitalization of $15.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.07, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.57 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a 50-day moving average of $17.97 and a two-hundred day moving average of $21.88.

Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 19th. The pipeline company reported $0.24 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by ($0.01). Williams Companies had a net margin of 10.53% and a return on equity of 7.29%. The firm had revenue of $2.17 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.06 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.19 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts expect that Williams Companies Inc will post 1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 30th. Investors of record on Friday, March 13th will be given a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 12th. This is a positive change from Williams Companies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 11.23%. Williams Companies’s payout ratio is currently 161.62%.

In related news, Director William H. Spence bought 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 12th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $13.60 per share, with a total value of $54,400.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 22,802 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $310,107.20. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director William H. Spence bought 6,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 10th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $14.73 per share, for a total transaction of $95,745.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 15,302 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $225,398.46. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have purchased 83,600 shares of company stock worth $1,363,083 over the last 90 days. 0.26% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WMB. Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Co bought a new stake in Williams Companies in the third quarter worth $3,103,000. Merit Financial Group LLC boosted its holdings in Williams Companies by 3.6% in the third quarter. Merit Financial Group LLC now owns 15,149 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $364,000 after acquiring an additional 528 shares in the last quarter. B.S. Pension Fund Trustee Ltd acting for the British Steel Pension Fund boosted its holdings in Williams Companies by 60.7% in the third quarter. B.S. Pension Fund Trustee Ltd acting for the British Steel Pension Fund now owns 523,957 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $12,606,000 after acquiring an additional 197,923 shares in the last quarter. Eventide Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Williams Companies in the third quarter worth $1,509,000. Finally, Ausdal Financial Partners Inc. boosted its holdings in Williams Companies by 45.2% in the third quarter. Ausdal Financial Partners Inc. now owns 12,125 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $292,000 after acquiring an additional 3,775 shares in the last quarter. 86.68% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Williams Companies Company Profile (NYSE:WMB)

The Williams Companies, Inc operates as an energy infrastructure company primarily in the United States. The company's Northeast G&P segment engages in the natural gas gathering, compression, and processing business, as well as natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionation business in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, and Ohio.

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