North American energy firm
Williams Companies Inc.
) increased its quarterly cash dividend payment by 4.2% to 33.875
cents per share, up from 32.5 cents per share paid in the fourth
quarter of 2012 and 25.875 cents per share in the year ago
period. The increased dividend is payable on March 25, 2013, to
shareholders of record as on March 8, 2013.
Importantly, the latest payout is consistent with Williams
Companies' plan to increase dividend every quarter. If the
revised dividend is maintained for the rest of the year, then the
annualized dividend payout of the company would be $1.36 per
Based on the closing price of $33.80 as on January 17, 2013, the
increased dividend affirms a yield of 4.0%. A steady dividend
payout facilitates the long-term strategy of the company to
provide attractive risk-adjusted returns to its stockholders.
Last year, the company's full year dividend was $1.20 per share.
Management believes that Williams Companies will likely increase
its annual dividend for 2013 and 2014 by 20% each.
The dividend hike reflects continued strong performance by
Williams Companies, backed by solid operating results, good
investments and a diligent execution of its strategic plan. We
believe that the company will be able to generate sufficient cash
flows for its shareholders in the coming years, backed by strong
operating performances and good management decisions.
Williams Companies is a premier energy infrastructure provider in
North America. The company's core operations include finding,
producing, gathering, processing, and transportation of natural
gas. Boasting a widespread pipeline system, Williams Companies is
one of the largest domestic transporters of natural gas by
Williams Companies divides its business into three segments:
Williams Partners that includes the company's 72% owned master
Williams Partners L.P.
), Midstream Canada & Olefins, and Other.
Williams Companies currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold),
implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader
U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.
Williams Companies' midstream assets, which are less sensitive to
commodity prices, help the company to maintain a steady stream of
revenue and cash flow even if natural gas prices stay low.
However, we remain concerned about Williams Companies' high debt
levels, which leave it vulnerable to an extended drop in
WILLIAMS COS (WMB): Free Stock Analysis
WILLIAMS PTNRS (WPZ): Free Stock Analysis
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