Williams Cos.

(WMB) - Get Report

expects to meet or exceed Wall Street's projections for 2001, citing the growth in its energy business and expanded earnings capacity in marketing and trading.

Williams expects to earn $1.26 a share for the entire company in 2001. The company projected earnings of $1.73 a share when only the results from its energy operations are calculated. Analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

are calling for Williams to earn $1.26 for the year. Wall Street expects the company to earn $1.35 in 2000, up from the 48 cents Williams earned in the year-ago period.

The forecast doesn't include the impact of the possible spinoff of

Williams Communications

(WCG) - Get Report

, which is still being evaluated.

Shares of Williams, an energy and communications company based in Tulsa, Okla., slipped $1.25, or 3.3%, to $36.69 in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.