Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Friday. Stock traders acquired 14,005 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 705% compared to the typical volume of 1,740 call options.
WMB has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Williams Companies from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Williams Companies in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 target price on shares of Williams Companies in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Williams Companies from $34.00 to $33.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of Williams Companies in a research report on Monday, September 25th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $34.00 target price for the company. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Williams Companies has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $33.83.
Shares of Williams Companies (WMB) opened at $29.07 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $24,000.00, a P/E ratio of 49.64, a PEG ratio of 3.13 and a beta of 1.37. Williams Companies has a 52-week low of $26.82 and a 52-week high of $32.69. The company has a current ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.38.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be given a dividend of $0.30 per share. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.13%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 7th. Williams Companies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 210.53%.
In other news, CEO Alan S. Armstrong bought 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 15th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $27.23 per share, with a total value of $163,380.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 345,527 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,408,700.21. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Ted T. Timmermans sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.75, for a total transaction of $43,125.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 9,594 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $275,827.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 283,501 shares of company stock valued at $8,590,124 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. grew its position in shares of Williams Companies by 4.6% during the 3rd quarter. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. now owns 1,161,934 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $34,870,000 after buying an additional 51,325 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Williams Companies by 19.5% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 12,100,909 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $366,414,000 after purchasing an additional 1,975,398 shares in the last quarter. Vaughan David Investments Inc. IL lifted its holdings in shares of Williams Companies by 32.2% in the 3rd quarter. Vaughan David Investments Inc. IL now owns 509,104 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $24,091,000 after purchasing an additional 124,051 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Williams Companies by 86.8% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 986,200 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $29,862,000 after purchasing an additional 458,200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA lifted its holdings in shares of Williams Companies by 53.6% in the 2nd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 64,033 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,939,000 after purchasing an additional 22,333 shares in the last quarter. 84.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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About Williams Companies
The Williams Companies, Inc is an energy infrastructure company. The Company is focused on connecting North America’s hydrocarbon resource plays to markets for natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), and olefins. As of December 31, 2016, its interstate gas pipelines, midstream and olefins production interests were held through its investment in Williams Partners L.P.
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