Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) shares shot up 5.9% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $29.09 and last traded at $27.61, with a volume of 13,117,026 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $26.06.

A number of research firms have issued reports on WMB. Morgan Stanley set a $24.00 target price on shares of Williams Cos. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Raymond James Financial Inc. upgraded shares of Williams Cos. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Evercore Partners Inc. upped their target price on shares of Williams Cos. from $24.00 to $29.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Citigroup Inc. cut their target price on shares of Williams Cos. from $55.00 to $26.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Group upped their target price on shares of Williams Cos. from $27.00 to $28.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Williams Cos. presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $28.49.

The firm’s market capitalization is $21.10 billion. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $23.91 and a 200 day moving average of $19.90.

Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 1st. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.03. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.15 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Williams Cos. will post $0.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Ted T. Timmermans sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.23, for a total transaction of $52,460.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 13,803 shares in the company, valued at $362,052.69. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website.

Other hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Andra AP fonden boosted its stake in Williams Cos. by 71.1% in the fourth quarter. Andra AP fonden now owns 63,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,627,000 after buying an additional 26,300 shares during the period. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. purchased a new stake in Williams Cos. during the fourth quarter valued at $1,927,000. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Williams Cos. by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 77,058 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,980,000 after buying an additional 1,144 shares during the period. Stephens Inc. AR boosted its stake in Williams Cos. by 20.5% in the fourth quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 78,083 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,007,000 after buying an additional 13,292 shares during the period. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new stake in Williams Cos. during the fourth quarter valued at $3,068,000.

The Williams Companies, Inc is an energy infrastructure company focused on connecting North America’s hydrocarbon resource plays to markets for natural gas, natural gas liquids and olefins. The Company’s segments include Williams Partners, Williams NGL & Petchem Services, and Other. Its Williams Partners segment consists of its consolidated partnership in Williams Partners L.P., including gas pipeline, which consists of interstate natural gas pipelines and pipeline joint project investments, and midstream business, which provides natural gas gathering, treating, processing and compression services.

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