The Williams Companies, Inc. WMB reported first-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings from continuing operations of 19 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 21 cents. The weaker-than-expected results can be attributed to absence of gains associated with transactions related to JV interests in the Permian basin and Marcellus shale. Lower commodity margins due to the sale of Geismar olefins facility also impacted the results.
However, the bottom line improved from the prior-year figure of 14 cents per share.
For the quarter ended Mar 31, 2018, Williams Companies reported revenues of $2,088 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,078 million. Further, revenues increased significantly from the year-ago quarter figure of $1,988 million.
Williams Companies, Inc. (The) Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Williams Companies, Inc. (The) Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Williams Companies, Inc. (The) Quote
Williams Partners L.P. WPZ : This segment reported adjusted operating profit of $1,122 million, slightly higher than $1,117 million recorded in the year-ago quarter. Increased fee-based revenues driven by the partnership's Transco's expansion and higher gathered volumes drove the results.
Other: The segment posted adjusted operating profit of $13 million, below the prior-year profit of $28 million.
The total cost and expenses increased 2.5% to $1,597 million in the reported quarter, compared with $1,558 million in the prior-year quarter. Increased costs were primarily driven by higher product costs and processing commodity expenses.
Capital Expenditure & Balance Sheet
During the reported quarter, Williams Companies' capital expenditure was $957 million. As of Mar 31, 2018, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $1,292 million. Long-term debt of the company was $21,397 million, representing a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 69.3%.
The guidance for 2018 remains unchanged from the prior outlook. The company anticipates net income from its major segment Williams Partners to be within the range of $1.5-$1.7 billion. Williams Companies expects the annual dividend growth rate of 10-15% for 2018 and 2019, with the dividend-coverage ratio of 1.35x.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Currently, Williams Companies carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Meanwhile, one can opt for some better-ranked energy players like Bellatrix Exploration Limited BXE and Canadian Natural Resources Limited CNQ , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Bellatrix's 2018 earnings are expected to witness year-over-year growth of 16.06%.
Canadian Natural's 2018 earnings are anticipated to witness year-over-year growth of 151.09%.
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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 Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ): Free Stock Analysis Report Bellatrix Exploration Ltd (BXE): Free Stock Analysis Report Williams Companies, Inc. (The) (WMB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research