NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Nearly half of Williams Cos. (WMB) - Get Report board members resigned on Thursday after they failed to oust CEO Alan Armstrong following the termination of its planned merger with rival pipeline company Energy Transfer Equity (ETE), sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Among the six directors who left were Chairman Frank MacInnis and activist hedge-fund investors Keith Meister and Eric Mandelblatt, according to the Journal. All three had pushed for Williams Cos. to be acquired by Energy Transfer, while Armstrong opposed the deal.

Earlier this week, Energy Transfer announced its intention to terminate the deal, though Williams Cos. has appealed a Delaware ruling that allows Energy Transfer to do so. 

The shake-up to Williams Cos.'s board could ultimately be a positive for the company as it will allow Williams Cos. to more easily move forward on its own, former Williams Cos. CEO Keith Bailey told the Journal.

Williams Cos. "needs to go forward with the management and board committed to being an independent company," Bailey noted. "That's difficult to achieve if the board remains unchanged and those committed to breaking the company up or selling it remain."

Shares are up 0.05% to $21.63 this morning as oil prices gain today.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "hold" with a ratings score of C-.

Williams Cos.' strengths such as its good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins are countered by weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: WMB

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author. 

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