Western Gas Partners, LP (WES) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Western Gas Partners, LP (NYSE:WES) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Saturday 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. “

Several other research firms have also recently commented on WES. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $69.00 price target on shares of Western Gas Partners, in a report on Friday, April 7th. Citigroup Inc. upped their price target on Western Gas Partners, from $55.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. Macquarie assumed coverage on Western Gas Partners, in a report on Friday, April 21st. They issued an outperform rating and a $51.00 price target for the company. Guggenheim assumed coverage on Western Gas Partners, in a report on Monday, April 17th. They issued a buy rating and a $68.00 price target for the company. Finally, TheStreet raised Western Gas Partners, from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $61.18.

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Shares of Western Gas Partners, (WES) opened at 52.10 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $7.95 billion, a P/E ratio of 37.24 and a beta of 1.20. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $54.55 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.62. Western Gas Partners, has a one year low of $46.85 and a one year high of $67.44.

Western Gas Partners, (NYSE:WES) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The pipeline company reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $525.45 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $488.21 million. Western Gas Partners, had a net margin of 28.81% and a return on equity of 15.80%. The company’s revenue was up 22.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.55 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Western Gas Partners, will post $1.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 11th. Investors of record on Monday, July 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.89 per share. This represents a $3.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.83%. This is a boost from Western Gas Partners,’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.88. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 27th. Western Gas Partners,’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 256.12%.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WES. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in Western Gas Partners, by 342.4% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 178,726 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $10,804,000 after buying an additional 138,324 shares in the last quarter. Linscomb & Williams Inc. boosted its stake in Western Gas Partners, by 0.4% in the first quarter. Linscomb & Williams Inc. now owns 9,645 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $583,000 after buying an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. Virtu Financial LLC boosted its stake in Western Gas Partners, by 84.2% in the first quarter. Virtu Financial LLC now owns 17,264 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,044,000 after buying an additional 7,892 shares in the last quarter. Reynders McVeigh Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Western Gas Partners, during the first quarter worth $203,000. Finally, State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D boosted its stake in Western Gas Partners, by 5.2% in the first quarter. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D now owns 81,200 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $4,909,000 after buying an additional 4,000 shares in the last quarter. 58.38% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Western Gas Partners, Company Profile

Western Gas Partners, LP is a master limited partnership (MLP) that acquires, owns, develops and operates midstream energy assets. The Company is engaged in the business of gathering, processing, compressing, treating and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and crude oil in the United States.

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Analyst Recommendations for Western Gas Partners, (NYSE:WES)

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