Why Are Williams Companies Inc (WMB) Shares Down So Much?

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With the entire market seemingly trading down today after oil prices tumble to below $30 per barrel, it’s the oil and gas companies suffering the most. While a 5 to 10% dip in share price is nothing new for many of these companies, as of late, today’s action is almost scary, particularly for shareholders of Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB).

Shares of Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) are down big in mid-morning trading today, and the main reason seems to simply be the selloff in oil, combined with a few downgrades of other companies within the sector. The stock opened at around $15 per share this morning and within 25 minutes had plunged to a new 52-week low of $10.41 per share after a brief halt. Since then, over the last 40 minutes the stock has rebounded somewhat, but remains down over 25% on the day. With many analysts expecting oil prices to continue their drop, the market likely is pricing in future oil prices in their valuation of the company.

The stock has fallen 27.95% or $4.78 following this negative news, hitting $12.32 per share. Approximately 10.07 million shares traded hands. WMB shares have declined 70.28% since July 2, 2015 and are currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 61.41%.

From a total of 2 analysts covering Williams Companies Inc. (NYSE:WMB) stock, 0 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 2 a “Hold”. This means that 0 of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $49.98 while the lowest target price is $35. The mean of all analyst targets is $41.33 which is 235.47% above today’s ($12.32) stock price. Williams Companies Inc. was the topic of 9 analyst reports since July 23, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Howard Weil downgraded shares on September 29 to a “Sector Perform” rating. Argus Research maintained WMB stock in a recent report from August 12 with a “Buy” rating.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.91 in Q2 2015. It’s down 0.04, from 0.95 in 2015Q2. The ratio fall, as 121 funds sold all their Williams Companies Inc shares they owned while 270 reduced their positions. 63 funds bought stakes while 291 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 564.14 million shares which is 10.75% less than the previous share count of 632.12 million in 2015Q2.

Corvex Management Lp holds 18.05% of its total portfolio in Williams Companies Inc, equating to 41.68 million shares. Perry Corp owns 8.36 million shares representing 12.15% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Seastone Capital Management L.P. has 7.94% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 659,300 shares. The Tennessee-based Chickasaw Capital Management Llc has a total of 7.45% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Ecofin Ltd, a United Kingdom-based fund reported 949,901 shares owned.

The Williams Companies, Inc. is an energy infrastructure firm focused on connecting North America’s hydrocarbon resource plays to markets for natural gas, natural gas liquids , and olefins. The company has a market cap of $8.43 billion.

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