Lazard Asset Management LLC lessened its position in The Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE:WMB – Get Rating) by 28.6% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 11,539 shares of the pipeline company’s stock after selling 4,614 shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Williams Companies were worth $329,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Nations Financial Group Inc. IA ADV increased its holdings in Williams Companies by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Nations Financial Group Inc. IA ADV now owns 13,880 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $397,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Independent Advisor Alliance grew its position in shares of Williams Companies by 2.1% in the 3rd quarter. Independent Advisor Alliance now owns 14,708 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $421,000 after buying an additional 309 shares during the last quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. grew its position in shares of Williams Companies by 52.5% in the 2nd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 915 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $29,000 after buying an additional 315 shares during the last quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC grew its position in shares of Williams Companies by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 12,017 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $375,000 after buying an additional 349 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Williams Companies by 4.3% in the 3rd quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. now owns 8,499 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $243,000 after buying an additional 350 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.38% of the company’s stock.
Wall Street Analyst Weigh In
A number of research firms have commented on WMB. Mizuho reduced their price target on Williams Companies from $40.00 to $39.00 in a research report on Friday, December 16th. Sanford C. Bernstein lowered Williams Companies from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their price target for the company from $37.00 to $34.00 in a research report on Monday, February 27th. Wells Fargo & Company cut their target price on Williams Companies from $37.00 to $36.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, February 22nd. US Capital Advisors upgraded Williams Companies from a “hold” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 31st. Finally, Citigroup began coverage on Williams Companies in a research report on Thursday, December 8th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $36.00 target price on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Williams Companies presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $36.82.
Williams Companies Stock Up 1.8 %
Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB – Get Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 20th. The pipeline company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.47 by $0.06. Williams Companies had a return on equity of 16.02% and a net margin of 18.69%. The business had revenue of $2.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.18 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.39 EPS. On average, research analysts expect that The Williams Companies, Inc. will post 1.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Williams Companies Increases Dividend
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 27th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 13th will be paid a $0.4475 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 10th. This is an increase from Williams Companies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. This represents a $1.79 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.78%. Williams Companies’s dividend payout ratio is 101.19%.
Williams Companies Company 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 consists of interstate natural gas pipelines, the Transco and Northwest Pipelines, 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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