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

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

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 0.2%. By the end of trading, Williams Companies fell $0.57 (-1.5%) to $36.67 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5,413,666 shares of Williams Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,141,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $36.59-$37.08 after having opened the day at $37.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.24. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources ( SHZ), down 11.6%, InterOil Corporation ( IOC), down 7.6%, USEC ( USU), down 7.2% and Lucas Energy ( LEI), down 7.0%.
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The Williams Companies, Inc. operates as an energy infrastructure company. Williams Companies has a market cap of $25.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Williams Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Companies as a buy. 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.

On the positive front, Houston American Energy Corporation ( HUSA), down 17.7%, Quicksilver Resources ( KWK), down 10.9%, Tasman Metals ( TAS), down 10.8% and REX American Resources ( REX), down 8.4% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A) 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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