Williams Partners (NYSE: WPZ) is one of 245 publicly-traded companies in the “Oil & Gas Exploration and Production” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its competitors? We will compare Williams Partners to related businesses based on the strength of its institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, risk, profitability, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Volatility and Risk

Williams Partners has a beta of 1.4, meaning that its stock price is 40% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Williams Partners’ competitors have a beta of 1.42, meaning that their average stock price is 42% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Williams Partners and its competitors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Williams Partners 17.82% 5.90% 3.03%
Williams Partners Competitors -438.27% 4.74% 1.62%

Dividends

Williams Partners pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.1%. Williams Partners pays out 143.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. As a group, “Oil & Gas Exploration and Production” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.9% and pay out 403.3% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Williams Partners is clearly a better dividend stock than its competitors, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Williams Partners and its competitors top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Williams Partners $8.00 billion $3.78 billion 23.57
Williams Partners Competitors $1.42 billion $613.49 million 20.19

Williams Partners has higher revenue and earnings than its competitors. Williams Partners is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its competitors, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

22.8% of Williams Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 62.1% of shares of all “Oil & Gas Exploration and Production” companies are owned by institutional investors. 11.9% of shares of all “Oil & Gas Exploration and Production” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Williams Partners and its competitors, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Williams Partners 0 2 10 1 2.92
Williams Partners Competitors 1584 7933 12291 271 2.51

Williams Partners presently has a consensus price target of $44.83, suggesting a potential upside of 13.88%. As a group, “Oil & Gas Exploration and Production” companies have a potential upside of 37.44%. Given Williams Partners’ competitors higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Williams Partners has less favorable growth aspects than its competitors.

Summary

Williams Partners beats its competitors on 11 of the 15 factors compared.

Williams Partners Company Profile

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. Under the Northeast G&P segment, it owns and operates fractionation facilities at Moundsville, de-ethanization and condensate facilities at its Oak Grove processing plant. The Atlantic Gulf segment includes the Company’s interstate natural gas pipeline, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC. The West segment includes its interstate natural gas pipeline, Northwest Pipeline, and natural gas gathering processing and treating operations.

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