National Asset Management Inc. reduced its stake in shares of The Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE:WMB) by 0.8% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 182,768 shares of the pipeline company’s stock after selling 1,508 shares during the quarter. National Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in The Williams Companies were worth $4,853,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. grew its holdings in The Williams Companies by 1,368.4% during the first quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 18,962,925 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $449,232,000 after acquiring an additional 17,671,486 shares during the period. Evercore Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in The Williams Companies by 16,558.9% in the 1st quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,218,296 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $52,551,000 after purchasing an additional 2,204,980 shares in the last quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P increased its stake in The Williams Companies by 313.3% in the 1st quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P now owns 1,890,011 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $44,774,000 after purchasing an additional 1,432,675 shares in the last quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC purchased a new position in The Williams Companies in the 1st quarter worth about $26,963,000. Finally, Assetmark Inc. increased its stake in The Williams Companies by 392,677.9% in the 1st quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 1,013,367 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $24,007,000 after purchasing an additional 1,013,109 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.54% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on The Williams Companies from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 18th. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price objective on The Williams Companies from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 24th. Royal Bank of Canada upped their price target on The Williams Companies from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 19th. Zacks Investment Research lowered The Williams Companies from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $26.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, August 17th. Finally, Raymond James boosted their price objective on The Williams Companies from $28.00 to $30.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 21st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $27.33.
The Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Sunday, August 1st. The pipeline company reported $0.27 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.28 by ($0.01). The Williams Companies had a return on equity of 10.13% and a net margin of 12.94%. The company had revenue of $2.28 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.07 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.25 EPS. The Williams Companies’s revenue was up 28.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that The Williams Companies, Inc. will post 1.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 27th. Investors of record on Friday, September 10th will be given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 9th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.43%. The Williams Companies’s dividend payout ratio is currently 149.09%.
The Williams Companies declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, September 8th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the pipeline company to repurchase up to 5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The Williams Companies Profile
The Williams Cos., Inc operates as an energy infrastructure company, which explores, produces, transports, sells and processes natural gas and petroleum products. It operates through the following segments: Transmission and Gulf of Mexico; Northeast G&P; and West. The Transmission and Gulf of Mexico segment comprises of interstate natural gas pipelines, Transco and Northwest Pipeline, as well as natural gas gathering and processing and crude oil production handling and transportation assets in the Gulf Coast region.
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