Williams Companies (WMB) Stock Continues to Rise Wednesday

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Williams Companies  (WMB) continued to rise Wednesday as it priced $3 billion worth of shares to help fund its acquisition of Access Midstream Partners  (ACMP).

The company priced 53 million shares at $57 a share; the offering includes a 30-day option for underwriters to purchase an additional 7.95 million shares. Williams Companies would earn approximately $3 billion from the offering and an additional $450 million if the underwriters purchase the additional shares.

The stock was up 0.8% to $57.77 at 10:49 a.m. More than 12.8 million shares had changed hands, compared to the average volume of 5,105,520.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WILLIAMS COS INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WILLIAMS COS INC (WMB) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, WMB's share price has jumped by 37.67%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • 38.99% is the gross profit margin for WILLIAMS COS INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of WMB's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, WMB's net profit margin of 8.00% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • WILLIAMS COS INC's earnings per share declined by 16.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WILLIAMS COS INC reported lower earnings of $0.64 versus $1.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.12 versus $0.64).
  • WMB, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.4%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 13.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $161.00 million to $140.00 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WMB Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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.

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