Western Gas Equity Partners Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (WGP)

Western Gas Equity Partners LP (NYSE:WGP) saw unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Stock traders purchased 614 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 830% compared to the typical daily volume of 66 put options.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on WGP shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 25th. Seaport Global Securities started coverage on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. They set a “buy” rating and a $49.00 price objective on the stock. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from $45.00 to $40.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Monday, October 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $49.67.

Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP) opened at $36.55 on Thursday. Western Gas Equity Partners has a 1-year low of $33.92 and a 1-year high of $47.82. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 0.91 and a quick ratio of 0.91. The company has a market cap of $8,131.17, a P/E ratio of 22.37 and a beta of 1.50.

Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The pipeline company reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.03. Western Gas Equity Partners had a net margin of 16.96% and a return on equity of 8.99%. The firm had revenue of $574.70 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $530.80 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.54 earnings per share. Western Gas Equity Partners’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.3% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Western Gas Equity Partners will post 1.7 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 22nd. Investors of record on Thursday, November 2nd were issued a $0.5375 dividend. This is a positive change from Western Gas Equity Partners’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, November 1st. This represents a $2.15 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.88%. Western Gas Equity Partners’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 130.30%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of WGP. Saratoga Research & Investment Management purchased a new position in Western Gas Equity Partners in the third quarter valued at approximately $146,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its holdings in Western Gas Equity Partners by 14.7% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 3,923 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $169,000 after buying an additional 503 shares during the period. Clinton Group Inc. purchased a new position in Western Gas Equity Partners in the second quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Doliver Capital Advisors LP purchased a new position in Western Gas Equity Partners in the second quarter valued at approximately $241,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its holdings in Western Gas Equity Partners by 7.4% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 6,598 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $284,000 after buying an additional 452 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 18.38% of the company’s stock.

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Western Gas Equity Partners Company Profile

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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