Wed, Feb. 18, 7:22 PM
- Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) +0.6% AH after swinging to a Q4 profit, enjoying a lift from its recently merged MLPs even as its pipeline business lowered its 2015 outlook.
- The new Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ) - combined with Access Midstream Partners (NYSE:ACMP) - cut its guidance for 2015 EBITDA to $4.5B from its previous view of ~$5B, citing sharply lower assumptions for commodities prices.
- WPZ says its fee-based revenues continued to grow and it began commissioning major new assets including Gulfstar One, Keathley Canyon Connector and its expanded Geismar plant, but the sharp decline in commodity prices, the delay in the startup of Geismar and higher costs associated with the commissioning of the assets reduced overall results.
- Guidance for WMB's 2015 cash dividend is $2.38/share with an annual growth rate of 10%-15% through 2017; guidance for WPZ's 2015 common unit cash distributions is $3.40 with an annual growth rate of 7%-11% through 2017.
Dec. 22, 2014, 5:35 PM
Oct. 29, 2014, 6:49 PM
- Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) reported soaring Q3 earnings, but the result was attributed mostly to a gain related to its interest in Access Midstream Partners (NYSE:ACMP), which recently agreed to merge with affiliate Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ); adjusted for the gain, EPS from continuing operations fell to $0.15 from $0.19.
- In addition to its Q3 dividend increase, WMB also affirms dividend growth guidance of ~15% annually -- through 2017 with planned dividends of ~$1.96 in 2014, $2.46 in 2015, $2.82 in 2016, $3.25 in 2017.
- WPZ says its Q3 earnings fell 24% amid weaker natural gas liquids margins and higher maintenance costs; CEO Alan Armstrong says the results were as expected and mostly the result of the outage at its Geismar olefins plant.
- Earlier today, WPZ said it expects its expanded Geismar plant will begin manufacturing ethylene for sale next month.
Oct. 29, 2014, 4:35 PM
Oct. 28, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Oct. 28, 2014, 8:40 AM
Oct. 27, 2014, 5:40 AM
- Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) has sweetened the terms of an agreement to combine two MLPs controls, Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ) and Access Midstream Partners (NYSE:ACMP), in a move that will create a pipeline operator with a combined enterprise value of $50B.
- Investors who own WPZ units will receive ~0.87 of a unit of ACMP for each WPZ unit they own, up from the initial offer of 0.85; prior to the tie-up, existing ACMP holders will receive more units of the partnership.
- Williams expects the merger to be completed early next year, with the new entity set to distribute $3.65/unit in 2015.
- "This is another big step toward our goal of becoming the leading natural-gas infrastructure provider in North America," Williams CEO Alan Armstrong says. (PR)
Oct. 14, 2014, 12:33 PM
- MLPs have been brutalized lately, with the benchmark Alerian MLP Index (AMJ +0.5%) plunging 13% in the past week and down another 3% earlier today, but at least some in the group have been trying to bounce back in the past hour or so.
- J.P. Morgan strategists are sticking with their bullish central thesis on MLPs, saying prolific production from unconventional energy plays will keep demand high for new energy infrastructure; the firm believes most core acreage in leading shale plays continues to be economic at current commodity prices, which should drive strong long-term growth prospects for MLPs.
- JPM favors MLPs owning high-quality, diversified assets with strong management teams and proven track records, naming Kinder Morgan (KMI -1.5%), Enterprise Products Partners (EPD +2.5%) and Plains All American Pipeline (PAA -1%).
- ETP +3.7% and OKS +2.5%, LINE +1.4%, but EROC -5.3%, CQP -4.5%, BBEP -2.5%, MMP -2.5%, TEP -2.1%, PSXP -2%, WPZ -1.1%, ACMP -0.5%.
- ETFs: AMLP, AMJ, MLPL, MLPI, MLPA, MLPN, EMLP, MLPX, MLPS, AMU, ENFR, ATMP, MLPW, IMLP, AMZA, OSMS
Jul. 29, 2014, 4:17 PM
Jul. 28, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Jul. 1, 2014, 3:58 PM
- Williams Cos. (WMB +0.6%) completes its acquisition of the 50% general partner interest and 55.1M limited partner units in Access Midstream Partners (ACMP +1%).
- WMB says the merged MLP would have a 2015 distribution increase of at least 25% above ACMP's current guidance of $2.79/unit, would have a best-in-class distribution growth rate of 10%-12% annually through 2017, and enjoy strong investment-grade ratings: WMB foresees distribution coverage of ~1.2x in 2015 and at or above 1.1x through 2017.
- Howard Weil raises its target price for WMB to $68 from $43, noting that not only has ACMP been one of the fastest growing MLP's but the assets are essentially in all of the growing U.S. basins, with the largest drivers of growth in WMB's wheelhouse in the Northeast, the Gulf Coast and the Rockies (Briefing.com).
Jun. 17, 2014, 3:43 PM
- Williams Cos. (WMB +3.7%) adds to yesterday's 18% surge following an upgrade to Buy from Hold and a $67 price target at Deutsche Bank, which says it continues to see upside potential for the stock following its planned $6B acquisition of Access Midstream Partners (ACMP -5.6%).
- ACMP has given up its initial gains from news of the deal and dropped sharply, as shares are downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Ladenburg Thalmann; however, Wunderlich ups its target price for ACMP to $77 from $64, noting that the merged MLP's 2015 distributions should be 25% and 2016 should come in at least 20% above current guidance (briefing.com).
Jun. 16, 2014, 3:45 PM
- "This is all certainly being driven by the dividend," says BMO analyst Carl Kirst on the Williams Cos. (WMB +18.4%) promises a 32% dividend hike after it buys control of Access Midstream Partners (ACMP +1.7%) for $6B.
- Because all ACMP's revenue comes from fixed fees, ~80% of cash flow at WMB will be guaranteed after the takeover, Kirst says, with ACMP unitholders getting a higher payout in exchange for slower growth at the combined company.
- Maxim Group believes WMB will continue to raise its dividend at a ~10% rate for several years beyond 2017, given strong coverage ratios and opportunities due to expected continued increase in shale activity and the need for energy infrastructure development in the U.S. (Briefing.com)
- Also: WPZ +6.5%.
Jun. 16, 2014, 9:59 AM
- Williams Partners (WPZ +6.4%) opens with strong gains after general partner Williams Cos. (WMB +19.4%) unveils plans to merge its midstream spinoff with and into Access Midstream Partners (ACMP -1.3%) upon completion of a $6B acquisition.
- WPZ is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Tudor Pickering, which sees 20%-plus upside in the name thanks to the deal and says "long-term coverage problems are solved overnight" with the merger into "coverage-rich" ACMP.
Jun. 16, 2014, 8:58 AM
- Williams Cos. (WMB) +12.3% premarket after agreeing to buy Access Midstream Partners (ACMP) for $6B and is upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Jefferies with a $65 price target.
- Jefferies notes WMB's yield/dividend growth is now consistent with pure-play general partner peers; says Plains GP (PAGP), Targa Resources (TRGP) and ONEOK (OKE) trade with an average ~3.5% dividend yield, which would equate to a $71 price for WMB.
- Credit Suisse raises its WMB target price to $65 from $50, and believes a significant re-rating should ensue.
Jun. 16, 2014, 3:19 AM
- Williams Companies (WMB) has agreed to pay nearly $6B to acquire the 50% stake it does not already own in Access Midstream Partners (ACMP), from infrastructure fund manager Global Infrastructure Partners.
- Another potential deal is being looked at - merging Williams Partners (WPZ) with Access Midstream Partners. If successful, it would form a close to $100B master limited partnership, one of the largest MLPs by enterprise value.
- Williams also announced plans to increase its third-quarter dividend by 32%, to 56 cents per share. Dividend growth is estimated to grow 15% annually between 2014 and 2017.
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