Western Gas Partners (WES) Cut to “Strong Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Western Gas Partners (NYSE:WES) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “WESTERN GAS PARTNERS is a growth-oriented Delaware limited partnership formed by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to own, operate, acquire and develop midstream energy assets. “

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Barclays lifted their price objective on Western Gas Partners from $49.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 29th. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their target price on Western Gas Partners from $63.00 to $64.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. ValuEngine raised Western Gas Partners from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Western Gas Partners in a research report on Thursday, October 11th. They issued a neutral rating and a $45.00 target price for the company. Finally, Citigroup boosted their target price on Western Gas Partners from $53.00 to $56.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. Western Gas Partners presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $53.00.

WES stock opened at $39.10 on Tuesday. Western Gas Partners has a 1-year low of $38.35 and a 1-year high of $54.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13, a current ratio of 0.51 and a quick ratio of 0.51. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.22 billion, a PE ratio of 30.08 and a beta of 1.30.

Western Gas Partners (NYSE:WES) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 30th. The pipeline company reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by ($0.28). Western Gas Partners had a return on equity of 12.61% and a net margin of 24.11%. The business had revenue of $507.76 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $472.96 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.38 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 11.6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Western Gas Partners will post 1.83 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 13th. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 31st will be given a $0.965 dividend. This represents a $3.86 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 9.87%. This is a positive change from Western Gas Partners’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.95. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 30th. Western Gas Partners’s payout ratio is presently 296.92%.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WES. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. boosted its stake in Western Gas Partners by 9.5% during the 2nd quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 14,962,223 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $724,022,000 after purchasing an additional 1,296,811 shares during the last quarter. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP boosted its stake in Western Gas Partners by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP now owns 9,257,583 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $447,957,000 after purchasing an additional 204,420 shares during the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Western Gas Partners by 6.2% during the 3rd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 8,839,258 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $386,099,000 after purchasing an additional 517,576 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its stake in Western Gas Partners by 3.7% during the 2nd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 3,654,295 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $176,831,000 after purchasing an additional 131,701 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Global X Management Co LLC boosted its stake in Western Gas Partners by 4.7% during the 2nd quarter. Global X Management Co LLC now owns 909,482 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $44,010,000 after purchasing an additional 41,109 shares during the last quarter. 59.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Western Gas Partners

Western Gas Partners, LP acquires, develops, owns, and operates midstream energy assets in the Rocky Mountains, North-central Pennsylvania, and Texas. It is involved in gathering, processing, compressing, treating, and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids, and crude oil. Western Gas Holdings, LLC serves as the general partner of Western Gas Partners, LP.

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