Gas pipeline operator Williams Companies (WMB) is another company that's having a good year; shares of the $22 billion firm have climbed almost 23% in the last 12 months, offering up stellar performance compared to the rest of a sideways-trawling oil and gas industry. Williams is one of the biggest names in the business, with more than 15,000 miles of gas pipe and 1,000 miles of natural gas liquids pipelines under its belt. All in, the firm moves more than 10% of the entire country's natural gas capacity.
Williams made some big changes in 2012, opting to unload much of its exposure to commodity prices by unloading upstream assets and swapping them for more midstream assets. While investors could argue against Williams' unloading of its exploration and production unit with natgas skimming historic price lows, the fact that it was a spin-off gives investors exposure to upside in gas without dragging WMB's performance along with it.One result of that change is a heftier dividend payout. Williams currently pays a 3.87% yield, currently made up of a quarterly 33.78-cent dividend. I'll admit that calling for a dividend hike in WMB is kind of a "gimme." The firm has been consistent about small increases to its payout for over a year now. But that's all the more reason to take a closer look at WMB if you're on the hunt for high-yielders that look likely to boost their payouts further.
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