Williams Companies Inc Raises Cash Payout to Shareholders
Williams Companies Inc Announces 13.3% Dividend Increase
Oil and gas prices are yet to make a full recovery, but quite a few energy companies have started raising their dividends again. Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) is the latest example.
On February 21 after the closing bell, Williams Companies announced that its board of directors has approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.34 per share, which will be paid on March 26, 2018 to shareholders of record as of March 9. The new amount will represent a 13.3% increase from the company’s previous quarterly dividend rate of $0.30 per share. (Source: “Williams Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend,” Williams Companies Inc, February 21, 2018.)
Trading at $28.62 apiece, WMB stock now offers a forward annual dividend yield of 4.75%. This is substantially higher than S&P 500 companies’ average dividend yield of 1.81% at the moment.
Williams Companies Inc has been paying continuous dividends since 1974, although the payout hasn’t always been increasing. In 2016, Williams Companies cut its quarterly dividend rate by 68.8% from $0.64 per share to $0.20 per share. (Source: “Williams Dividend History,” Williams Companies Inc, last accessed February 21, 2018.)
Therefore, Wednesday’s dividend hike announcement could be the latest sign of improvement from the natural gas infrastructure company.
Williams Companies reported earnings earlier this month. In 2017, the company generated adjusted earnings of $0.63 per share, representing a five percent increase from 2016. (Source: “Williams Reports 2017 Financial Results,” Williams Companies Inc, February 14, 2018.)