Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” by Analysts

Shares of Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) have earned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the eighteen ratings firms that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have issued a hold recommendation, eleven have assigned a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 12 month price target among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $29.19.

Several analysts recently commented on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their target price on Williams Companies from $34.00 to $32.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, August 29th. Raymond James upgraded Williams Companies from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $32.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, June 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Stifel Nicolaus lowered their target price on Williams Companies from $31.00 to $30.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. ValuEngine lowered Williams Companies from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 4th. Finally, Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 price target on shares of Williams Companies in a research note on Thursday, July 18th.

WMB traded down $0.03 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $24.81. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,299,910 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,457,506. Williams Companies has a fifty-two week low of $20.36 and a fifty-two week high of $29.55. The company has a current ratio of 0.60, a quick ratio of 0.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $30.29 billion, a PE ratio of 31.41, a PEG ratio of 3.93 and a beta of 1.56. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $23.98 and a 200 day simple moving average of $26.84.

Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The pipeline company reported $0.26 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.03. Williams Companies had a return on equity of 6.46% and a net margin of 0.73%. The firm had revenue of $2.04 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.13 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.16 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts expect that Williams Companies will post 0.98 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.38 per share. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 12th. Williams Companies’s payout ratio is currently 192.41%.

In related news, Director Stephen I. Chazen acquired 10,000 shares of Williams Companies stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 5th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $23.93 per share, with a total value of $239,300.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 55,730 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,333,618.90. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Terrance Lane Wilson acquired 4,000 shares of Williams Companies stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 8th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $23.60 per share, with a total value of $94,400.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the senior vice president now owns 43,726 shares in the company, valued at $1,031,933.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have acquired 44,000 shares of company stock valued at $1,028,200. 0.26% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WMB. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Williams Companies by 5.2% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 4,166,384 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $91,836,000 after acquiring an additional 205,510 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Williams Companies by 7.7% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 15,722,127 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $346,152,000 after acquiring an additional 1,124,517 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its stake in shares of Williams Companies by 19.4% during the 1st quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 480,469 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $13,800,000 after acquiring an additional 78,093 shares in the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. boosted its stake in shares of Williams Companies by 602.0% during the 1st quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 184,164 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $5,289,000 after acquiring an additional 157,929 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cornerstone Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Williams Companies by 75.9% during the 1st quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 1,302 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $37,000 after acquiring an additional 562 shares in the last quarter. 87.62% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Williams Companies

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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Analyst Recommendations for Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB)

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