Williams Companies Inc Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (WMB)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Williams Companies (NYSE: WMB) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B-. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $495.00 million or 14.05% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -13.28%.
  • 42.00% is the gross profit margin for WILLIAMS COS INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 8.89% trails the industry average.
  • WMB, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 10.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • WILLIAMS COS INC's earnings per share declined by 48.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WILLIAMS COS INC reported lower earnings of $1.16 versus $1.35 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 20.3% in earnings ($0.93 versus $1.16).

The Williams Companies, Inc. operates as an energy infrastructure company. Williams Companies has a market cap of $25.4 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 41.00, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 18.00. Shares are up 15.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full Williams Companies Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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