Williams Cos. Shares Plunged (Sort of): What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Williams Cos. (NYSE: WMB  ) may be lower than some investors expected this morning, falling more than 18% from Friday's close -- but never fear, you were left some shares in WPX Energy (NYSE: WPX  ) for your troubles.

So what: For every three shares of Williams you owned on Friday, you should now own one share of WPX Energy. The drop in Williams shares account for almost exactly the value of the new shares, so overall shareholder value hasn't gone up or down much at all today.

Now what: Depending on what quote you looked at this morning, you may have been a little surprised at Williams' share price. After the separation, the two companies will split their focus to pipelines and infrastructure at Williams and exploration and production at WPX. If you own shares, it may be time to start considering whether you still want to own one or both of these businesses now that they're separate.

Interested in more info on Williams? Add it to your watchlist by clicking here.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.

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