According to the Tulsa World, Carl Icahn and his firm has significantly added to his purchase in Williams Cos (NYSE:WMB). WMB is now his 5th largest holding according to the article behind the likes of Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB), Motorola (MOT), and Anadarko (NYSE:APC). The investment more than doubled his holdings in WMB to $250M and increased his position to 3%. This isn't necessarily a sign that he plans on being an activist as he held shares back in 2006 that he mostly sold in May of 2008. Seems that maybe Icahn is just a trader in WMB stock, but he might have other plans this time. His more recent investments haven't been that stellar as both YHOO and MOT have bombed since his involvement.
WMB is an anchor of the Tulsa community and it would be a shame if Icahn were to force changes. Historically the company has been a strong natural gas company though it lost its way in 2000 with the debacle that was Williams Communications that is now a part of Level 3 (NYSE:LVLT). It's interesting that Icahn evidently sees some huge value in WMB. The company has been over shadowed in this industry and even in the state by more aggressive firms like Chesapeake (NYSE:CHK), Devon (DEV) and even Bakken oil producer Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR).
WMB doesn't seem to have any interests in some of the big name areas such as the Marcellus Shale, Haynesville Shale, or even the Bakken oil area. This may cause investors to overlook this company but not Icahn. It's unclear what Icahn finds so appealing about this stock other than its solid reputation and value.
From a technical view, WMB stock has recently held above the 50 day ema and the 20 day ema is quickly approaching the 50 day. Any bounce off the 50 day would be very bullish so Icahn is definitely buying at a promising juncture in the stock price. His purchase might just signal that the recent lows might be a thing of the past for WMB. At the current price of $15, this move by Icahn is very appealing unlike some of his other top 5 holdings.
Edit: Just realized that these purchases were made in the 4th quarter so it isn't exactly new purchases though the information hasn't been widely known since Icahn just filed with the SEC. It also appears that his holdings have drastically changed as he sold out of MOT, but WMB is still a good buy at these levels and based on Icahn loading up.