Principal Financial Group Inc. lessened its position in Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) by 1.2% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 1,784,782 shares of the pipeline company’s stock after selling 21,540 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in Williams Companies were worth $39,355,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Nicholas Company Inc. increased its position in Williams Companies by 0.3% during the fourth quarter. Nicholas Company Inc. now owns 146,219 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $3,224,000 after purchasing an additional 390 shares during the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC increased its position in Williams Companies by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 53,947 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,190,000 after purchasing an additional 462 shares during the last quarter. JOYN Advisors Inc. increased its position in Williams Companies by 57.9% during the fourth quarter. JOYN Advisors Inc. now owns 1,262 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $28,000 after purchasing an additional 463 shares during the last quarter. Destination Wealth Management increased its position in Williams Companies by 14.2% during the fourth quarter. Destination Wealth Management now owns 3,779 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $83,000 after purchasing an additional 469 shares during the last quarter. Finally, JNBA Financial Advisors increased its position in Williams Companies by 68.6% during the fourth quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 1,180 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $26,000 after purchasing an additional 480 shares during the last quarter. 90.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several equities analysts recently commented on WMB shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Williams Companies from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, January 14th. Mizuho started coverage on shares of Williams Companies in a research note on Wednesday, November 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $32.00 price objective for the company. Barclays upgraded shares of Williams Companies from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $31.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 16th. Bank of America set a $30.00 price objective on shares of Williams Companies and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 14th. Finally, Evercore ISI started coverage on shares of Williams Companies in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th. They set an “outperform” rating for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Williams Companies currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $32.07.

Shares of WMB stock opened at $28.47 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $34.48 billion, a PE ratio of 36.04, a PEG ratio of 4.53 and a beta of 1.72. 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 Inc has a twelve month low of $20.36 and a twelve month high of $32.22.

Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The pipeline company reported $0.19 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.22 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $2.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.53 billion. Williams Companies had a negative net margin of 1.78% and a positive return on equity of 4.83%. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.36 earnings per share. On average, research analysts predict that Williams Companies Inc will post 0.97 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 25th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 8th will be paid a $0.38 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 7th. This is an increase from Williams Companies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.34%. Williams Companies’s dividend payout ratio is 192.41%.

In other news, Director Kathleen B. Cooper sold 9,615 shares of the company’s 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 directly owns 32,272 shares in the company, valued at $883,930.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Walter J. Bennett sold 14,859 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.13, for a total transaction of $403,124.67. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 116,881 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,170,981.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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About Williams Companies

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB)

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