Western Gas Partners (WES) Debt Trading 1% Lower

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An issue of Western Gas Partners, LP (NYSE:WES) debt fell 1% as a percentage of its face value during trading on Friday. The high-yield debt issue has a 5.3% coupon and is set to mature on March 1, 2048. The debt is now trading at $91.39 and was trading at $91.52 one week ago. Price moves in a company’s debt in credit markets sometimes anticipate parallel moves in its stock price.

WES has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. ValuEngine raised Western Gas Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised Western Gas Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Stifel Nicolaus lowered Western Gas Partners from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $56.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Friday, December 21st. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Western Gas Partners in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. Finally, M Partners boosted their target price on Western Gas Partners from $42.00 to $55.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $50.09.

NYSE:WES traded down $0.40 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $31.73. 3,387,700 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 794,565. Western Gas Partners, LP has a 12-month low of $25.89 and a 12-month high of $38.62. The company has a market cap of $7.05 billion, a PE ratio of 12.64 and a beta of 1.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a current ratio of 0.63 and a quick ratio of 0.63.

Western Gas Partners (NYSE:WES) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The pipeline company reported $0.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.75 by ($0.65). Western Gas Partners had a net margin of 19.06% and a return on equity of 11.72%. The business had revenue of $557.79 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $521.78 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.39 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Western Gas Partners, LP will post 2.29 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, February 13th. Investors of record on Friday, February 1st were issued a dividend of $0.98 per share. This represents a $3.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 12.35%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, January 31st. This is an increase from Western Gas Partners’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.97. Western Gas Partners’s payout ratio is currently 96.02%.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. grew its holdings in shares of Western Gas Partners by 8.9% during the 3rd quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 16,295,738 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $711,798,000 after acquiring an additional 1,333,515 shares during the period. Alps Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of Western Gas Partners by 12.6% in the 4th quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 9,954,452 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $420,377,000 after buying an additional 1,115,194 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. grew its stake in shares of Western Gas Partners by 53.2% in the 3rd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 5,599,235 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $244,575,000 after buying an additional 1,944,940 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in shares of Western Gas Partners by 40.8% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 3,509,650 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $153,302,000 after buying an additional 1,017,349 shares during the last quarter. Finally, RR Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Western Gas Partners by 73.8% in the 3rd quarter. RR Advisors LLC now owns 2,018,000 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $88,230,000 after buying an additional 857,000 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 61.18% of the company’s stock.

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About Western Gas Partners (NYSE:WES)

Western Gas Partners, LP acquires, develops, owns, and operates midstream energy assets in the Rocky Mountains, North-central Pennsylvania, and Texas. It is involved in gathering, processing, compressing, treating, and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids, and crude oil. Western Gas Holdings, LLC serves as the general partner of Western Gas Partners, LP.

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