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TULSA, Okla. -- The Williams Cos. Inc., the pipeline operator and energy trader that has placed much of its assets, including its travel center network, on the sale's block, said today it would post a whopping second-quarter loss as a result of the spiraling energy markets.
Staggering since the collapse of fellow energy trader Enron Corp. last year, Williams, which had until now the second largest dividend yield in the S&P 500, said it would cut its 20-percent share dividend to once cent, noting it wold lose 35 to 40 cents per share, Reuters reported. The company expected to take a charge of $210 million to $240 million.
Energy traders have been the target of investigations, amid allegations of market manipulation to boost trading volumes and revenues.
In another energy-related item, Dearborn, Mich.-based utility company, CMS Energy Corp., said today it has agreed to sell its gas and oil production unit for $232 million. The close date is expected in the third quarter as the company moves to shore up its balance sheet.
French firm Perenco S.A., a privately held exploration and production company will buy the CMS Oil and Gas Co., excluding assets in Colombia. CMS is under investigation by regulators concerning bogus trades.