Wall Street brokers expect The Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE: WMB – Get a rating) will post earnings per share of $0.35 for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts released earnings estimates for Williams Companies, with estimates ranging from $0.33 to $0.37. Williams Companies also posted earnings of $0.35 per share in the same quarter last year. The company is expected to release its next quarterly earnings report after the market closes on Monday, January 1.
According to Zacks, analysts expect Williams Companies to report annual earnings of $1.43 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.32 to $1.60. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect the company to report earnings of $1.43 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.06 to $1.68. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts who cover Williams companies.
Williams Companies (NYSE: WMB – Get a rating) last released its quarterly results on Monday, February 21. The pipeline company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.39 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.08. Williams Companies had a net margin of 14.27% and a return on equity of 11.60%. The company posted revenue of $3.26 billion for the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $2.82 billion. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company posted earnings per share of $0.31.
WMB has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Citigroup raised its price target on shares of Williams Companies from $27.00 to $29.00 in a Thursday, Jan. 13, report. Stifel Nicolaus raised his price target on shares of Williams Companies from $31.00 to $34.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a Tuesday, March 1, report. Zacks Investment Research moved shares of Williams Companies from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a target price of $37.00 on the stock in a Tuesday, March 22 report. Mizuho raised his price target on Williams Companies stock from $33.00 to $35.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a Thursday, March 17 report. Finally, Raymond James raised his price target on shares of Williams Companies from $36.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock a “strong buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Four investment analysts gave the stock a hold rating, nine gave the company a buy rating and two gave the company a strong buy rating. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $33.92.
Shares of Williams Companies traded down $0.58 in Friday’s midday session, hitting $35.10. 8,957,621 shares were traded, against an average volume of 9,427,811. The company’s fifty-day moving average is $32.59 and its 200-day moving average is $29.68. The company has a debt ratio of 1.54, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a current ratio of 0.91. The company has a market capitalization of $42.67 billion, a PE ratio of 28.31, a PEG ratio of 7.24 and a beta of 1.27. Williams Companies has a 52-week low of $23.25 and a 52-week high of $36.37.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 28. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 11 received a dividend of $0.425. This is a boost from Williams Companies’ previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 10. This represents a dividend of $1.70 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.84%. The Williams Companies dividend payout ratio is 137.10%.
In other Williams Companies news, SVP Scott A. Hallam sold 12,838 shares in a trade on Tuesday, March 8. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.86, for a total transaction of $434,694.68. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, available at this hyperlink. Also, please Walter J. Bennett sold 24,219 shares in a trade on Wednesday, February 23. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.70, for a total transaction of $719,304.30. Disclosure of this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 304,200 shares of the company worth $9,437,992 in the past ninety days. 0.43% of the shares are held by insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their holdings in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Williams Companies by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 108,224,766 shares of the pipeline company worth $2,818,173,000 after buying an additional 8,047,294 shares last quarter. Deutsche Bank AG increased its stake in Williams Companies by 3.1% in the third quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 27,201,917 shares of the pipeline company worth $705,616,000 after buying an additional 805,296 shares last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its stake in shares of Williams Companies by 0.9% in Q3. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 26,090,748 shares of the pipeline company worth $676,795,000 after acquiring 227,198 additional shares last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in the shares of Williams Companies by 2.6% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 23,035,416 shares of the pipeline company worth $598,316,000 after acquiring an additional 577,908 shares last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Williams Companies shares by 10.9% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 15,064,224 shares of the pipeline company worth $390,767,000 after acquiring 1,477,599 additional shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.55% of the company’s shares.
About the Williams Companies (Get a rating)
The Williams Companies, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy infrastructure company primarily in the United States. It operates through the Transmission & Gulf of Mexico, Northeast G&P, West and Gas & LGN Marketing Services segments. The Transmission and Gulf of Mexico segment includes the Transco and Northwest gas pipelines; and natural gas gathering and processing, and crude oil production handling and transportation assets in the Gulf Coast region, as well as various petrochemical and commodity pipelines.
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