BidaskClub downgraded shares of Williams Partners LP (NYSE:WPZ) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday.

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of Williams Partners from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. BMO Capital Markets set a $47.00 target price on shares of Williams Partners and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, June 5th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a buy rating and set a $48.00 target price on shares of Williams Partners in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Williams Partners from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $46.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC upgraded shares of Williams Partners from a hold rating to a buy rating and boosted their target price for the company from $42.00 to $44.00 in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $44.77.

Williams Partners (WPZ) traded down 1.28% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $38.57. The stock had a trading volume of 1,421,478 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $36.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.19 and a beta of 1.43. Williams Partners has a 52-week low of $32.93 and a 52-week high of $42.32. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $40.01 and a 200 day moving average of $40.24.

Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The pipeline company reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.42 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $1.92 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.13 billion. Williams Partners had a net margin of 17.82% and a return on equity of 5.90%. On average, equities analysts forecast that Williams Partners will post $0.76 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 4th will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 2nd. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 6.22%. Williams Partners’s dividend payout ratio is currently 143.71%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WPZ. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Williams Partners by 7.6% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 28,381,957 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,158,835,000 after buying an additional 2,001,870 shares in the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Williams Partners by 3.6% in the second quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 18,454,035 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $740,191,000 after buying an additional 639,747 shares in the last quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. boosted its stake in Williams Partners by 2.4% in the second quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 11,413,024 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $457,776,000 after buying an additional 263,922 shares in the last quarter. UBS Group AG boosted its stake in Williams Partners by 12.5% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 7,766,761 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $317,117,000 after buying an additional 865,490 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Atlantic Trust Group LLC boosted its stake in Williams Partners by 45.2% in the first quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 5,419,374 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $221,273,000 after buying an additional 1,687,346 shares in the last quarter. 23.94% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Williams Partners

Williams Partners L.P. is an energy infrastructure company. The Company has operations across the natural gas value chain from gathering, processing, and interstate transportation of natural gas and natural gas liquids to petchem production of ethylene, propylene, and other olefins. It operates through its Northeast G&P, Atlantic-Gulf, West segment.

Analyst Recommendations for Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ)

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