Williams Partners LP (NYSE:WPZ) Stake Lessened by Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada trimmed its position in shares of Williams Partners LP (NYSE:WPZ) by 6.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 191,675 shares of the pipeline company’s stock after selling 12,264 shares during the quarter. Royal Bank of Canada’s holdings in Williams Partners were worth $7,687,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in WPZ. Center Coast Capital Advisors LP acquired a new stake in shares of Williams Partners during the second quarter valued at about $183,318,000. Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its stake in shares of Williams Partners by 85.4% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 5,404,291 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $220,657,000 after acquiring an additional 2,489,110 shares during the period. Balyasny Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Williams Partners by 9,962.4% in the second quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 1,428,863 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $57,312,000 after acquiring an additional 1,414,663 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its stake in shares of Williams Partners by 14.8% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 5,022,071 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $201,435,000 after acquiring an additional 648,309 shares during the period. Finally, Alps Advisors Inc. lifted 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 worth $740,191,000 after acquiring an additional 639,747 shares during the period. 22.73% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Williams Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Barclays PLC upgraded Williams Partners from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $44.00 to $47.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Williams Partners in a report on Friday, July 21st. BidaskClub upgraded Williams Partners from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC upgraded Williams Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $42.00 to $44.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Williams Partners has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $44.93.

Williams Partners LP (NYSE WPZ) opened at 36.90 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $35.27 billion, a PE ratio of 22.19 and a beta of 1.40. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $39.07 and its 200-day moving average price is $39.60. Williams Partners LP has a 12 month low of $32.93 and a 12 month high of $42.32.

Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ) last posted its earnings results 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). Williams Partners had a return on equity of 5.90% and a net margin of 17.82%. The firm had revenue of $1.92 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.13 billion. Analysts anticipate that Williams Partners LP will post $0.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.50%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 2nd. Williams Partners’s payout ratio is currently 143.71%.

In other news, Director H Brent Austin bought 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 22nd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $38.66 per share, with a total value of $38,660.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 9,958 shares in the company, valued at approximately $384,976.28. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link.

Williams Partners Company Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ)

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