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: Natural gas transporter Williams Companies (NYSE: WMB) saw its shares surge as high 11% in early trading, after a Wall Street analyst maintained its buy rating on the stock.

So what: Just yesterday, Williams announced that CEO Steve Malcolm, who served as chairman and CEO since 2002, would retire at the end of the year. However, Citigroup (NYSE: C) seems relatively confident in replacement Alan Armstrong, who served as President of the Midstream segment, as the firm kept its $28.50 price target on the stock.

Now what: Malcolm was instrumental in helping Williams recover from the Enron-induced collapse of the energy-trading markets in 2002. While his leadership will be missed, Williams is now chock full of attractive growth assets in all three of its businesses -- E&P, gas midstream, and gas pipeline. With Citigroup's price target still leaving decent upside even after today's pop, Williams remains a decent bet on natural gas, along with close foes such as Dynegy (NYSE: DYN) and El Paso (NYSE: EP).

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

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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