Williams Companies Inc (WMB) Falls 16% After Credit Rating Downgrade – Hits New 52-Week Low


Shares of Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) are trading down big today, on news that Fitch Ratings has downgraded the credit rating on the company from BB+ to BBB-, and worries that the company could have more issues throughout the year continue to build.

The volume of shares traded today stands at almost three time the daily average, as the stock set a new 52-week low of $15.49. This is quite significant for a stock which has traded as high as $61.38 over the past year.

The stock is down 16.85% or $3.15 following the news, hitting $15.54 per share. About 25.95M shares traded hands or 82.36% up from the average. WMB has declined 61.42% since June 8, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 53.93%.

From a total of 3 analysts covering Williams Companies Inc. (NYSE:WMB) stock, 1 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 2 a “Hold”. This means that 33% 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 $43.66 which is 180.95% above today’s ($15.54) stock price. Williams Companies Inc. was the topic of 8 analyst reports since July 23, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Jefferies upgraded shares on December 18 to a “Buy” rating. Wells Fargo downgraded WMB stock in a recent report from September 10 to a “Market Perform” rating.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.91 in Q2 2015. It’s down 0.04, from 0.95 in 2015Q2. The ratio dropped, 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.

Since March 5, 2015, the stock had 0 insider purchases, and 1 sale for a total of $178,626 in net activity. Ewing Robyn L sold 3,405 shares worth $178,626. Pace Fred E. sold 4,388 shares worth $265,694. Scheel James E. sold 26,591 shares worth $1.61M. Billings Francis E. sold 66,694 shares worth $3.52M. The insider Perilloux Brian L. sold 20,105 shares worth $983,738.

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 $13.85 billion.