Shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, LP (NYSE:WGP) have been given an average recommendation of “Hold” by the eleven brokerages that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price target among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $47.89.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Guggenheim assumed coverage on Western Gas Equity Partners, in a report on Monday, April 17th. They set a “buy” rating and a $60.00 price objective on the stock. Bank of America Corporation raised Western Gas Equity Partners, from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $41.00 to $46.00 in a report on Monday, February 27th. Macquarie assumed coverage on Western Gas Equity Partners, in a report on Friday, April 21st. They set an “outperform” rating and a $51.00 price objective on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, in a report on Friday, April 7th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Western Gas Equity Partners, from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday, June 9th.

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Western Gas Equity Partners, (NYSE:WGP) traded down 1.0713% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $42.0348. The stock had a trading volume of 12,312 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $43.80 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.50. The company has a market capitalization of $9.20 billion, a PE ratio of 27.0668 and a beta of 1.57. Western Gas Equity Partners, has a 52 week low of $35.15 and a 52 week high of $47.82.

Western Gas Equity Partners, (NYSE:WGP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The pipeline company reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.04. Western Gas Equity Partners, had a net margin of 17.55% and a return on equity of 8.34%. The firm had revenue of $516.19 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $501.83 million. On average, analysts expect that Western Gas Equity Partners, will post $1.59 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, May 22nd. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 1st were issued a dividend of $0.4913 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, April 27th. This is an increase from Western Gas Equity Partners,’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. This represents a $1.97 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.62%. Western Gas Equity Partners,’s payout ratio is presently 126.28%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, by 78.6% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 3,420 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 1,505 shares during the last quarter. Taylor Wealth Management Partners increased its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, by 1,050.0% in the first quarter. Taylor Wealth Management Partners now owns 4,600 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $212,000 after buying an additional 4,200 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp bought a new position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $227,000. Level Four Advisory Services LLC increased its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, by 9.8% in the first quarter. Level Four Advisory Services LLC now owns 6,986 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $325,000 after buying an additional 622 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Keybank National Association OH increased its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners, by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Keybank National Association OH now owns 8,020 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $340,000 after buying an additional 270 shares during the last quarter. 18.71% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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