Williams Companies Inc (WMB): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

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Williams Companies ( WMB) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Williams Companies fell 42 cents (-1.3%) to $31.65 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4.1 million shares of Williams Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $31.65-$32.17 after having opened the day at $32.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.07. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Houston American Energy Corporation ( HUSA), down 17.4%, Recovery Energy ( RECV), down 16%, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), down 13.4%, and PostRock Energy ( PSTR), down 11.8%.
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The Williams Companies, Inc. operates as an energy infrastructure company in the United States. Williams Companies has a market cap of $20.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Williams Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Emerald Oil ( EOX), up 291.1%, Titanium Metals Corporation ( TIE), up 42.6%, BMB Munai ( BMBM), up 11.6%, and Torch Energy Royalty ( TRU), up 10.7%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the basic materials sector could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

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