Williams Co. Lowers Guidance on Weak Gas Prices


Investors pushed Williams Co.(NYSE:WMB) lower Thursday after the natural gas producer slashed its full-year earnings and capital outlook for the next three years, a reflection of lower-than-expected gas prices.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company said it anticipates 2010 profit to range between $1 and $1.20 a share, much lower than its July forecast of $1 to $1.45 a share.

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Next year's income is estimated to be in the range 85 cents to $1.65 a share, compared with its previous view of $1.15 to $2.50 a share.

In 2012, earnings are forecasted to range between 95 cents and $2 a share.

Williams CEO Steve Malcolm said the company adjusted its guidance to reflect the current state of the economy and commodity markets, as gas prices have leveled off in recent months.

The company expects gas prices this year to range between $4.35 and $4.95 per 1,000 cubic feet, $4 to $6 next year, and $4.30 to $6.50 in 2012.

Williams also lowered its capital expenditure guidance for the next three years, which it says will lead to a slower rate of production growth.

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