BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Western Gas Equity Partners LP (NYSE:WGP) by 9.5% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 18,212 shares of the pipeline company’s stock after buying an additional 1,581 shares during the quarter. BlackRock Inc.’s holdings in Western Gas Equity Partners were worth $603,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust boosted its holdings in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners by 8.2% in the 1st quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 28,040 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $929,000 after buying an additional 2,125 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in Western Gas Equity Partners by 8.9% during the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 65,046 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $2,417,000 after purchasing an additional 5,311 shares during the last quarter. Oxbow Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Western Gas Equity Partners during the 1st quarter valued at $202,000. Geode Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Western Gas Equity Partners during the 4th quarter valued at $329,000. Finally, Raymond James & Associates lifted its holdings in Western Gas Equity Partners by 147.4% during the 4th quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 19,395 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $721,000 after purchasing an additional 11,555 shares during the last quarter. 18.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Western Gas Equity Partners opened at $36.75 on Tuesday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Western Gas Equity Partners LP has a 1 year low of $31.63 and a 1 year high of $42.92. The firm has a market cap of $7.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.37 and a beta of 1.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14, a current ratio of 0.48 and a quick ratio of 1.45.

Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The pipeline company reported $0.31 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by ($0.12). Western Gas Equity Partners had a return on equity of 9.42% and a net margin of 17.52%. The firm had revenue of $435.95 million for the quarter. sell-side analysts forecast that Western Gas Equity Partners LP will post 1.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 23rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.582 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 31st. This represents a $2.33 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 6.33%. This is an increase from Western Gas Equity Partners’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. Western Gas Equity Partners’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 135.47%.

WGP has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Western Gas Equity Partners from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 17th. ValuEngine downgraded Western Gas Equity Partners from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 2nd. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on Western Gas Equity Partners in a report on Thursday, April 19th. They set a “buy” rating and a $38.00 price target for the company. Seaport Global Securities downgraded Western Gas Equity Partners from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price target for the company from $49.00 to $32.00 in a report on Monday, April 9th. Finally, Barclays cut their price target on Western Gas Equity Partners from $37.00 to $36.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 11th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $42.36.

Western Gas Equity Partners Company Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP)

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