Williams Companies (WMB) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Well positioned to take advantage of the nation's natural gas supply growth, Williams Companies' large-scale value-creating projects position it for strong returns even in a low commodity price environment. In particular, increased energy growth prospects in North America is set to unlock attractive opportunities, which is expected to position the company for long-term, sustainable revenues as well as solidify its credit profile. An attractive dividend growth and strong, sustainable coverage are other positives in the Williams story. However, we believe that the termination of the Energy Transfer merger deal was a big blow to the company. Williams’ high debt levels and continued hurdles in its Constitutional Pipeline Project have also been major concerns. Considering these factors, we take a cautious stance on WMB stock”

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Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $38.00 target price on shares of Williams Companies in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $37.00 target price on shares of Williams Companies in a research note on Friday, January 12th. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Williams Companies in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. UBS reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 price objective (down previously from $37.00) on shares of Williams Companies in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. Finally, US Capital Advisors raised shares of Williams Companies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $33.85.

Shares of WMB stock opened at $25.51 on Friday. Williams Companies has a twelve month low of $24.00 and a twelve month high of $33.67. The stock has a market capitalization of $21,138.21, a P/E ratio of 40.49 and a beta of 1.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26, a current ratio of 0.82 and a quick ratio of 0.78.

Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The pipeline company reported $0.20 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.20. Williams Companies had a net margin of 27.07% and a return on equity of 3.38%. The firm had revenue of $2.23 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.16 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.02) EPS. analysts expect that Williams Companies will post 0.78 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Kathleen B. Cooper sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.31, for a total transaction of $113,240.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 45,465 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,287,114.15. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Ted T. Timmermans sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.28, for a total transaction of $56,560.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 17,945 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $507,484.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.53% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Woodard & Co. Asset Management Group Inc. ADV acquired a new stake in Williams Companies during the 4th quarter worth approximately $112,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Williams Companies during the 4th quarter worth approximately $117,000. Eqis Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Williams Companies during the 4th quarter worth approximately $201,000. Pineno Levin & Ford Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Williams Companies during the 4th quarter worth approximately $207,000. Finally, Allegis Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Williams Companies during the 4th quarter worth approximately $219,000. 86.48% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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Analyst Recommendations for Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB)

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