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Research analysts at Wunderlich initiated coverage on shares of MarkWest Energy Partners (NYSE:MWE) in a report released on Wednesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm set a “buy” rating and a $78.00 price target on the stock. Wunderlich’s price objective points to a potential upside of 16.04% from the company’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “The units had been a favorite among investors, appreciating 48% from the end of 2012 to the 2014 guidance announcement in mid-November 2013, but have since underperformed, falling 11%,” the report noted. “However, we believe 2014 DCF will exceed Street estimates and expect MWE to rally through 2014 as cash flows accelerate and visibility on double-digit distribution growth emerges. Incremental project and contract announcements can provide further upside catalysts.” Some key points from the report included: -”We see upside to expectations in 2014/2015″ -”CapEx to drive accelerating cash flow growth” -”Project announcements could provide catalysts” -”High-quality asset base with growing fee-based margin and attractive cost of capital”

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on MWE. Analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of MarkWest Energy Partners in a research note to investors on Friday, January 3rd. They now have a $70.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at TheStreet downgraded shares of MarkWest Energy Partners from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note to investors on Tuesday, December 17th. Finally, analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. initiated coverage on shares of MarkWest Energy Partners in a research note to investors on Wednesday, December 11th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $75.50.

Shares of MarkWest Energy Partners (NYSE:MWE) traded up 0.55% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $67.5903. The stock had a trading volume of 121,490 shares. MarkWest Energy Partners has a 52-week low of $52.40 and a 52-week high of $75.79. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $66.05 and a 200-day moving average of $68.81. The company has a market cap of $10.172 billion and a P/E ratio of 132.58.

MarkWest Energy Partners (NYSE:MWE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 13th. The company reported ($0.17) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.41. The company had revenue of $420.52 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $458.22 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted ($0.13) earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 49.9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that MarkWest Energy Partners will post $0.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other MarkWest Energy Partners news, EVP Randy Nickerson sold 1,500 shares of the stock on the open market in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.27, for a total value of $99,405.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 225,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,918,636. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link.

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. is a master limited partnership engaged in the gathering, processing and transportation of natural gas; the transportation, fractionation, storage and marketing of NGLs, and the gathering and transportation of crude oil.

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