Williams Partners LP Stock Upgraded (WPZ)

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Williams Partners (NYSE: WPZ) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 5.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $243.00 million to $256.00 million.
  • 37.29% is the gross profit margin for WILLIAMS PARTNERS LP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 14.82% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $598.00 million or 31.42% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -15.77%.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 6.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.0%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • WILLIAMS PARTNERS LP has improved earnings per share by 6.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WILLIAMS PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $1.94 versus $3.68 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 22.7% in earnings ($1.50 versus $1.94).

Williams Partners L.P., an energy infrastructure company, focuses on connecting North America's hydrocarbon resource plays to growing markets for natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL). It operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline and Midstream Gas & Liquids. Williams has a market cap of $22.97 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. Shares are up 7.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more..

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

More from Markets

OPEC Reaches Output Deal, But Won't Put Figure on Extra Barrels in Market

OPEC Reaches Output Deal, But Won't Put Figure on Extra Barrels in Market

Video: Stock Investors Shouldn't Fret About Oil Prices in the $60s

Video: Stock Investors Shouldn't Fret About Oil Prices in the $60s

Who Is Right: AT&T's CEO or People Obsessed With Netflix Stock?

Who Is Right: AT&T's CEO or People Obsessed With Netflix Stock?

Comcast's Brian Roberts vs. Disney's Bob Iger: Which Titan Will Nab Fox?

Comcast's Brian Roberts vs. Disney's Bob Iger: Which Titan Will Nab Fox?

Dow Set to Snap 8-Day Losing Streak as Stocks Recover, But Trade War Lingers

Dow Set to Snap 8-Day Losing Streak as Stocks Recover, But Trade War Lingers