Western Gas Equity Partners LP (NYSE:WGP) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Investors purchased 1,026 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,952% compared to the typical daily volume of 50 put options.

WGP has been the topic of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 17th. Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from $41.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 31st. Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. They set a “buy” rating and a $40.00 target price on the stock. Barclays dropped their target price on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from $37.00 to $36.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, July 11th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Western Gas Equity Partners from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $41.08.

Shares of Western Gas Equity Partners stock opened at $30.96 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.14 and a beta of 1.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a current ratio of 0.48. Western Gas Equity Partners has a 52-week low of $30.69 and a 52-week high of $42.92.

Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The pipeline company reported $0.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by ($0.12). The business had revenue of $435.95 million during the quarter. Western Gas Equity Partners had a net margin of 17.52% and a return on equity of 9.42%. analysts expect that Western Gas Equity Partners will post 2.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Bank of New York Mellon Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in the 2nd quarter valued at $897,000. MAI Capital Management boosted its stake in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. MAI Capital Management now owns 93,669 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $3,349,000 after purchasing an additional 2,806 shares in the last quarter. Tiedemann Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in the 2nd quarter valued at $1,970,000. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners by 94.5% in the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 39,534 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $1,413,000 after purchasing an additional 19,204 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lake Street Advisors Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in the 2nd quarter valued at $1,451,000. 21.44% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Western Gas Equity Partners

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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