Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Western Gas Equity Partners, LP (WGP) to “Strong-Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, LP (NYSE:WGP) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note published on Thursday, July 13th. Zacks Investment Research currently has $49.00 price target on the pipeline company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Western Gas Equity Partners, LP is formed to own, operate, acquire and develop midstream energy assets. Western Gas Equity Partners, LP is based in The Woodlands, Texas. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on WGP. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a buy rating and issued a $53.00 price target on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, in a research report on Friday, April 7th. Macquarie started coverage on Western Gas Equity Partners, in a research report on Friday, April 21st. They set an outperform rating and a $51.00 target price for the company. Guggenheim started coverage on Western Gas Equity Partners, in a research report on Monday, April 17th. They set a buy rating and a $60.00 target price for the company. BidaskClub cut Western Gas Equity Partners, from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG upgraded Western Gas Equity Partners, from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their target price for the stock from $50.00 to $54.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $50.89.

Shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, (WGP) opened at 40.82 on Thursday. Western Gas Equity Partners, has a one year low of $35.52 and a one year high of $47.82. The stock has a market cap of $8.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.10 and a beta of 1.56. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $42.10 and a 200 day moving average price of $44.29.

Western Gas Equity Partners, (NYSE:WGP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The pipeline company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.41 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $525.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $505.77 million. Western Gas Equity Partners, had a return on equity of 8.78% and a net margin of 17.50%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 22.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.41 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Western Gas Equity Partners, will post $1.63 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 21st. Investors of record on Monday, July 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.5275 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 27th. This is a positive change from Western Gas Equity Partners,’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. This represents a $2.11 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.17%. Western Gas Equity Partners,’s dividend payout ratio is presently 129.45%.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WGP. HITE Hedge Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, by 462.1% in the fourth quarter. HITE Hedge Asset Management LLC now owns 201,633 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $8,539,000 after buying an additional 165,762 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, by 78.6% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 3,420 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $158,000 after buying an additional 1,505 shares during the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, by 13.4% in the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 10,734,821 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $494,875,000 after buying an additional 1,269,942 shares during the last quarter. Level Four Advisory Services LLC raised its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, by 9.8% in the first quarter. Level Four Advisory Services LLC now owns 6,986 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $325,000 after buying an additional 622 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, during the first quarter worth approximately $1,406,000. 18.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Western Gas Equity Partners,

Western Gas Equity Partners, LP is a limited partnership. The Company is formed to own approximately three types of partnership interests in Western Gas Partners, LP (WES). WES is an master limited partnership (MLP) engaged in the business of gathering, compressing, treating, processing and transporting natural gas, and gathering, stabilizing and transporting condensate, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and crude oil.

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Analyst Recommendations for Western Gas Equity Partners, (NYSE:WGP)

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