Fidelity Management & Research Sold a Major Position in WMB


May. 28 2018, Updated 7:33 a.m. ET

Institutional activity in WMB

The number of institutional holders of Williams Companies (WMB) stock fell to 938 in the first quarter compared to 955 in the previous quarter. At the same time, institutional ownership in WMB fell marginally to 88.0% from 88.8%.

Fidelity Management & Research Company unloaded a major position in Williams during the first quarter. It sold 16.5 million shares of WMB valued at $409.9 million. PointState Capital followed Fidelity Management & Research Company, unloading 5.1 million shares during the quarter.

Among the top institutional investors in Williams Companies, 16.9 million shares were sold, indicating a bearish sentiment on WMB. BlackRock Financial Management and Franklin Advisers were the biggest sellers. They sold 5.6 million and 5.2 million shares, respectively.

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Why were institutional investors bearish on WMB?

Institutional investors’ bearishness toward WMB can be attributed to the following factors:

  • uncertainty related to the impact of the revised FERC income tax ruling
  • a weak earnings growth outlook
  • weak drilling activity in some regions where the company has exposure

Top five holders

The Vanguard Group, Fidelity Management & Research Company, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, State Street Global Advisors, and BlackRock Financial Management are the top five institutional holders of WMB. The Vanguard Group became the top institutional holder in WMB after Fidelity Management & Research Company unloaded a major position during the first quarter. It currently holds 7.5% in WMB.

In the next article, we’ll look into Williams Companies’ current valuation.


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