MAI Capital Management cut its holdings in Williams Partners LP (NYSE:WPZ) by 3.1% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 89,249 shares of the pipeline company’s stock after selling 2,857 shares during the period. MAI Capital Management’s holdings in Williams Partners were worth $3,461,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of WPZ. Saratoga Research & Investment Management bought a new stake in Williams Partners in the third quarter worth $188,000. Balentine LLC lifted its stake in Williams Partners by 10.6% in the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 4,788 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $192,000 after purchasing an additional 457 shares during the last quarter. CAPROCK Group Inc. bought a new stake in Williams Partners in the fourth quarter worth $217,000. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership bought a new stake in Williams Partners in the second quarter worth $241,000. Finally, GWM Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Williams Partners in the second quarter worth $288,000. 22.12% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, CEO Alan S. Armstrong acquired 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $35.00 per share, for a total transaction of $175,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider John D. Seldenrust sold 6,770 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.76, for a total transaction of $262,405.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several research firms have weighed in on WPZ. Barclays downgraded shares of Williams Partners from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $47.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 17th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of Williams Partners in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of Williams Partners in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $48.00 price target for the company. US Capital Advisors raised shares of Williams Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Williams Partners in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $46.00.

Williams Partners LP (NYSE:WPZ) opened at $42.00 on Wednesday. Williams Partners LP has a 52-week low of $34.74 and a 52-week high of $44.06. The stock has a market cap of $40,900.00, a PE ratio of 30.00, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.88 and a beta of 1.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 1.06 and a quick ratio of 0.99.

Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The pipeline company reported $0.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.39 by ($0.12). Williams Partners had a net margin of 15.07% and a return on equity of 4.43%. equities research analysts expect that Williams Partners LP will post 1.7 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 2nd will be given a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 1st. Williams Partners’s payout ratio is 171.43%.

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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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ)

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