Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday morning.

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 analysts also recently commented on the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, September 12th. Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in a report on Tuesday, September 18th. They set a buy rating and a $40.00 target price for the company. Royal Bank of Canada reduced their target price on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners to $42.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 4th. Bank of America reduced 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. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reduced 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 investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Western Gas Equity Partners has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $39.23.

Shares of WGP opened at $30.30 on Tuesday. Western Gas Equity Partners has a one year low of $28.28 and a one year high of $42.92. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.22 billion, a PE ratio of 17.62 and a beta of 1.60. 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 (NYSE:WGP) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The pipeline company reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.77 by ($0.28). The company had revenue of $507.76 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $473.40 million. Western Gas Equity Partners had a return on equity of 9.96% and a net margin of 18.66%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 11.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.44 EPS. On average, research analysts forecast that Western Gas Equity Partners will post 2.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 21st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 31st will be paid a $0.595 dividend. This is a boost from Western Gas Equity Partners’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 30th. This represents a $2.38 annualized dividend and a yield of 7.85%. Western Gas Equity Partners’s payout ratio is 138.37%.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WGP. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Western Gas Equity Partners by 9.5% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 18,212 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $603,000 after purchasing an additional 1,581 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Western Gas Equity Partners by 49.5% in the 1st quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 20,330 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $673,000 after purchasing an additional 6,729 shares in the last quarter. Lucas Capital Management acquired a new stake in Western Gas Equity Partners in the 2nd quarter worth about $1,953,000. Stokes Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Western Gas Equity Partners in the 2nd quarter worth about $234,000. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in Western Gas Equity Partners in the 2nd quarter worth about $9,475,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 21.34% of the company’s stock.

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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