Williams Companies Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (WMB)

Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) saw unusually large options trading on Thursday. Stock traders purchased 7,852 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 1,209% compared to the average daily volume of 600 put options.

Shares of Williams Companies stock traded down $0.42 during trading on Friday, hitting $24.38. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 9,889,186 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,447,034. The company has a quick ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26. Williams Companies has a 52 week low of $24.00 and a 52 week high of $33.67. The stock has a market cap of $20,517.72, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.70 and a beta of 1.39.

Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The pipeline company reported $0.20 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.20. The company had revenue of $2.23 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.16 billion. Williams Companies had a net margin of 27.07% and a return on equity of 3.38%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.02) earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Williams Companies will post 0.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 26th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 9th were given a dividend of $0.34 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 8th. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.58%. This is a boost from Williams Companies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. Williams Companies’s dividend payout ratio is 215.87%.

Several analysts recently commented on WMB shares. US Capital Advisors raised Williams Companies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday. Bank of America dropped their price target on Williams Companies from $35.00 to $33.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, March 27th. Sanford C. Bernstein cut Williams Companies from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $30.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, March 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Williams Companies from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 16th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase upgraded Williams Companies from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, March 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $34.69.

In related news, insider James E. Scheel sold 26,915 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.00, for a total transaction of $888,195.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Ted T. Timmermans sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.28, for a total value of $56,560.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 17,945 shares in the company, valued at $507,484.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 32,915 shares of company stock valued at $1,057,995. 0.53% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Williams Companies during the third quarter valued at about $105,000. Woodard & Co. Asset Management Group Inc. ADV acquired a new stake in shares of Williams Companies in the 4th quarter worth about $112,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Williams Companies in the 4th quarter worth about $117,000. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Williams Companies in the 3rd quarter worth about $172,000. Finally, Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its holdings in shares of Williams Companies by 44.4% in the 3rd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 6,550 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $197,000 after acquiring an additional 2,013 shares during the last quarter. 86.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Williams Companies Company Profile

The Williams Companies, Inc operates as an energy infrastructure company primarily in the United States. It owns and operates natural gas pipeline system extending from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico through Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to the New York City metropolitan area.

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