Western Gas Equity Partners (WGP) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Saturday. The brokerage presently has a $36.00 price objective on the pipeline company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 10.40% from the company’s previous close.

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. “

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from $41.00 to $40.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, August 17th. ValuEngine raised shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 12th. Bank of America lowered their target price on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from $39.00 to $36.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 5th. Barclays lifted their target price on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from $36.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 29th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lowered their target price on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from $43.00 to $39.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, September 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $39.23.

Shares of Western Gas Equity Partners stock traded up $0.02 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $32.61. The company had a trading volume of 305,486 shares, compared to its average volume of 224,103. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14, a current ratio of 0.48 and a quick ratio of 0.48. The firm has a market cap of $6.56 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.96 and a beta of 1.75. Western Gas Equity Partners has a 1-year low of $29.69 and a 1-year high of $42.92.

Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The pipeline company reported $0.31 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by ($0.12). The company had revenue of $435.95 million during the quarter. Western Gas Equity Partners had a net margin of 17.52% and a return on equity of 9.42%. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Western Gas Equity Partners will post 2.3 EPS for the current year.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Summit Trail Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners by 3,262.6% during the first quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 2,319,420 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $2,319,000 after purchasing an additional 2,250,443 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners by 111.0% during the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 2,285,547 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $81,708,000 after purchasing an additional 1,202,446 shares in the last quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. boosted its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners by 59.7% during the second quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 1,870,803 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $66,881,000 after purchasing an additional 699,232 shares in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners by 1.8% during the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 1,307,577 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $46,746,000 after purchasing an additional 23,299 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS bought a new position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners during the second quarter worth $33,198,000. 21.44% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Western Gas Equity Partners

Western Gas Equity Partners, LP, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the gathering, processing, compressing, treating, stabilizing, and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids, and crude oil primarily in the United States. It is also involved in the gathering and disposing of produced water; and buying and selling of natural gas.

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