Short Interest in Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) Drops By 9.2%

Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 28,978,904 shares, a decrease of 9.2% from the February 28th total of 31,920,444 shares. Approximately 2.4% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 6,561,906 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.4 days.

WMB has been the topic of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Williams Companies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Saturday, January 19th. Bank of America set a $30.00 price target on Williams Companies and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 14th. Mizuho set a $32.00 price objective on Williams Companies and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 19th. Barclays upgraded Williams Companies from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $31.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, January 16th. Finally, Evercore ISI began coverage on Williams Companies in a report on Tuesday, February 5th. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Williams Companies has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $32.33.

In related news, insider Walter J. Bennett sold 14,859 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.13, for a total transaction of $403,124.67. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 116,881 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,170,981.53. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Kathleen B. Cooper sold 9,615 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.39, for a total value of $263,354.85. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 32,272 shares in the company, valued at $883,930.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.26% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Williams Companies by 47.6% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 93,159,173 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $2,532,998,000 after purchasing an additional 30,031,200 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc raised its position in Williams Companies by 47.6% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 93,159,173 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $2,532,998,000 after purchasing an additional 30,031,200 shares in the last quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. raised its position in Williams Companies by 149.0% during the third quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 41,886,657 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $1,138,898,000 after purchasing an additional 25,063,078 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its position in Williams Companies by 70.8% during the third quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 17,872,475 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $485,953,000 after purchasing an additional 7,406,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capital International Investors raised its position in Williams Companies by 25.4% during the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 17,209,247 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $467,919,000 after purchasing an additional 3,480,547 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 90.19% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:WMB traded up $0.02 during trading on Friday, reaching $28.49. 5,585,378 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 7,444,196. Williams Companies has a 12 month low of $20.36 and a 12 month high of $32.22. The stock has a market cap of $34.38 billion, a PE ratio of 36.06, a P/E/G ratio of 4.52 and a beta of 1.73. The company has a quick ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40.

Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 13th. The pipeline company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.22 by ($0.03). Williams Companies had a positive return on equity of 4.83% and a negative net margin of 1.78%. The firm had revenue of $2.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.53 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.36 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Williams Companies will post 0.98 earnings per share for the current year.

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Williams Companies Company Profile

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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