Western Gas Partners, LP (NYSE:WES) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Monday. Stock traders purchased 3,716 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 2,099% compared to the typical daily volume of 169 put options.
A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on WES shares. Scotiabank reissued a “hold” rating and set a $61.00 price target on shares of Western Gas Partners in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Stifel Nicolaus raised Western Gas Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Zacks Investment Research raised Western Gas Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price target on the stock in a report on Saturday, October 28th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on Western Gas Partners from $57.00 to $52.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, Barclays lowered their price target on Western Gas Partners from $63.00 to $62.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $57.08.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WES. Center Coast Capital Advisors LP boosted its holdings in Western Gas Partners by 67.0% in the 3rd quarter. Center Coast Capital Advisors LP now owns 4,061,697 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $208,284,000 after purchasing an additional 1,629,760 shares in the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Western Gas Partners by 11.1% in the 3rd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 8,134,462 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $417,135,000 after purchasing an additional 815,295 shares in the last quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. boosted its holdings in Western Gas Partners by 6.7% in the 3rd quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 12,847,861 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $658,838,000 after purchasing an additional 803,574 shares in the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Western Gas Partners by 17.2% in the 4th quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 5,181,402 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $249,173,000 after purchasing an additional 761,923 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harvest Fund Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Western Gas Partners in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $35,643,000. 61.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Western Gas Partners (NYSE:WES) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 15th. The pipeline company reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.47 by ($0.08). Western Gas Partners had a net margin of 25.24% and a return on equity of 14.41%. The business had revenue of $632.02 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $569.17 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.35 EPS. Western Gas Partners’s revenue for the quarter was up 23.7% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Western Gas Partners will post 2.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, February 13th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 1st were issued a $0.92 dividend. This represents a $3.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.54%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, January 31st. This is a positive change from Western Gas Partners’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.91. Western Gas Partners’s payout ratio is currently 264.75%.
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About Western Gas Partners
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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