Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. (NYSE:WGP) shares saw unusually-strong trading volume on Tuesday after Zacks Investment Research upgraded the stock from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research now has a $48.00 price target on the stock. Approximately 468,149 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 97% from the previous session’s volume of 238,098 shares.The stock last traded at $42.52 and had previously closed at $43.27.

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. “

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Janney Montgomery Scott started coverage on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. in a research note on Friday, July 29th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $45.00 target price for the company. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. in a report on Thursday, October 6th. Citigroup Inc. increased their price target on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. from $36.00 to $37.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group began coverage on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. in a report on Friday, June 17th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $45.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada increased their price target on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. from $44.00 to $48.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $41.14.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WGP. Acrospire Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. by 52.6% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 2,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE boosted its position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. by 5.6% in the second quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 3,167 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 167 shares during the period. Proficio Capital Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. during the second quarter worth about $161,000. Sterling Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. during the second quarter worth about $229,000. Finally, Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. during the second quarter worth about $245,000. 17.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $38.77 and its 200 day moving average price is $38.59. The stock has a market cap of $9.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 42.69 and a beta of 1.65.

Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. (NYSE:WGP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.08. Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. had a net margin of 14.55% and a return on equity of 6.03%. The business had revenue of $428.66 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $436.41 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.31 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. will post $1.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

About Western Gas Equity Partners L.P.

Western Gas Equity Partners, LP (WGP) is a limited partnership formed in to own approximately three types of partnership interests in Western Gas Partners, LP (WES). WES owns, operates, acquires and develops midstream energy assets. Through its subsidiary WES, the Company is engaged in the business of gathering, processing, compressing, treating and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and crude oil for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (Anadarko).

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