The Williams Companies, Inc. WMB is set to release first-quarter 2018 results after the closing bell on May 2.
In the preceding quarter, the Tulsa, OK-based company's earnings met the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Williams Companies has a dismal record of pulling an earnings surprise. It has not beaten estimates in any of the trailing four quarters, delivering an average negative earnings surprise of 29.83%.
Williams Companies, Inc. (The) Price and EPS Surprise
Williams Companies, Inc. (The) Price and EPS Surprise | Williams Companies, Inc. (The) Quote
Let's see how things are shaping up for this announcement.
Factors at Play
Williams Companies' midstream subsidiary William Partners, L.P. WPZ , which is less sensitive to commodity prices, helps the company to maintain a steady stream of revenues. Analysts polled by Zacks expect $2,087 million revenues for the quarter under review compared with $1,988 million in the prior-year quarter. We believe that the company could benefit from increasing volumes and processing margins from the Transco pipeline-expansion projects, placed into service in 2017.
The company is expected to benefit from the Northeast G&P operating region on the back of high throughput volumes and acquisition of stakes in two Marcellus Shale gathering systems.
Williams also increased its stake in the Williams Partners subsidiary to 74%. This positioned the company for long-term sustainable growth while solidifying investment-grade credit ratings of its subsidiary.
What the Zacks Model Unveils
Our proven model also shows that Williams Companies is likely to beat earnings in the to-be-reported quarter because it has the right combination of two key ingredients.
Zacks ESP: Earnings ESP for this company is +8.33%. This is because the Most Accurate estimate of 23 cents is pegged higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 21 cents. A favorable Zacks ESP serves as a meaningful and leading indicator of a likely positive earnings surprise. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they're reported with our Earnings ESP Filter .
Zacks Rank: Williams Companies carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) which, when combined with a positive ESP, makes us confident of an earnings beat.
Note that stocks with Zacks Ranks #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 have a significantly higher chance of beating estimates. Conversely, Sell-rated stocks (#4 and 5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.
Other Energy Stocks with Favorable Combination
Williams Companies is not the only energy firm looking up this earnings season. Here are some companies from the energy space, which, according to our model, also have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:
EOG Resources, Inc. EOG has an Earnings ESP of +4.07% and a Zacks Rank #1. The company is anticipated to release earnings on May 3. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Comstock Resources, Inc. CRK has an Earnings ESP of +51.83% and a Zacks Rank #2. The independent oil and gas explorer is anticipated to release earnings on May 14.
Looking for Stocks with Skyrocketing Upside?
Zacks has just released a Special Report on the booming investment opportunities of legal marijuana.
Ignited by new referendums and legislation, this industry is expected to blast from an already robust $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021. Early investors stand to make a killing, but you have to be ready to act and know just where to look.
See the pot trades we're targeting>>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Williams Partners L.P. (WPZ): Free Stock Analysis Report Williams Companies, Inc. (The) (WMB): Free Stock Analysis Report Comstock Resources, Inc. (CRK): Free Stock Analysis Report EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here.