Zacks Investment Research Lowers Western Gas Equity Partners (WGP) to Hold

Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

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. “

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on WGP. Citigroup upped their price target on Western Gas Equity Partners from $41.00 to $43.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 31st. ValuEngine raised Western Gas Equity Partners from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Western Gas Equity Partners from $41.00 to $40.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, August 17th. Barclays cut their price target on Western Gas Equity Partners from $37.00 to $36.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 11th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on Western Gas Equity Partners in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. They set a “buy” rating and a $40.00 price target on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $39.23.

Shares of WGP traded down $0.03 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $29.21. 4,432 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 248,427. The company has a quick ratio of 0.71, a current ratio of 0.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26. Western Gas Equity Partners has a 1-year low of $28.28 and a 1-year high of $42.92. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.41 billion, a PE ratio of 16.95 and a beta of 1.60.

Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The pipeline company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.77 by ($0.28). Western Gas Equity Partners had a net margin of 18.66% and a return on equity of 9.96%. The firm had revenue of $507.76 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $473.40 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.44 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 11.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Western Gas Equity Partners will post 2.29 EPS for the current year.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC lifted its stake in Western Gas Equity Partners by 16.1% in the third quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 33,977 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $994,000 after buying an additional 4,717 shares during the period. LVW Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Western Gas Equity Partners by 39.5% in the third quarter. LVW Advisors LLC now owns 10,425 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $312,000 after buying an additional 2,950 shares during the period. Conning Inc. lifted its stake in Western Gas Equity Partners by 41.1% in the third quarter. Conning Inc. now owns 35,448 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $1,061,000 after buying an additional 10,323 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new position in Western Gas Equity Partners in the third quarter valued at about $359,000. Finally, Alps Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Western Gas Equity Partners by 51.5% in the third quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 53,931 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $1,615,000 after buying an additional 18,332 shares during the period. 21.34% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Western Gas Equity Partners Company Profile

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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