ReFocusing on Your Core Business

That is what Williams is doing, and it may pay off. This is a great business strategy. So many companies go through the phase where they make bad investments outside their area of expertise just because they have the cash.

Williams' top brass is currently in the process of transforming its capital structure and business operations through a series of divestitures. In 2002, Williams closed on 17 different asset sales for $3.8 billion in cash, $835 million in assumed debt, and $570 million in other consideration. In late February, management detailed a deleveraging campaign intended to return the company to investment-grade credit status by 2005. The linchpin of this restructuring effort: another $4 billion in aggregate divestitures projected for 2003 and 2004.

I am not familiar with the details of their financial statements, but companies in this process are often good investments.