Western Gas Partners, LP (NYSE:WES) shares were up 2.1% during mid-day trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $50.17 and last traded at $49.38, with a volume of 169,407 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $48.35.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on WES shares. TheStreet raised Western Gas Partners, from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group initiated coverage on shares of Western Gas Partners, in a research note on Friday, June 17th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $59.00 target price for the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Western Gas Partners, in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Western Gas Partners, from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 10th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott initiated coverage on shares of Western Gas Partners, in a research note on Friday, July 29th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $60.00 target price for the company. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.25.

The stock has a market capitalization of $7.07 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 293.20. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $49.40 and a 200 day moving average price of $44.72.

Western Gas Partners, (NYSE:WES) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $428.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $438.63 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.44 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Western Gas Partners, LP will post $1.80 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 12th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 1st were issued a dividend of $0.815 per share. This represents a $3.26 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.58%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 28th.

In other news, Director James R. Crane sold 36,915 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.41, for a total transaction of $1,860,885.15. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 494,144 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $24,909,799.04. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Donald R. Sinclair sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.10, for a total value of $501,000.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 74,194 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,717,119.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several large investors recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Ancora Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Western Gas Partners, by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC now owns 17,360 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,268,000 after buying an additional 283 shares in the last quarter. Venturi Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Western Gas Partners, during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,009,000. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Western Gas Partners, by 11.9% in the fourth quarter. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP now owns 9,465,850 shares of the company’s stock valued at $449,893,000 after buying an additional 1,005,525 shares in the last quarter. Chickasaw Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Western Gas Partners, by 15.2% in the fourth quarter. Chickasaw Capital Management LLC now owns 1,849,165 shares of the company’s stock valued at $87,891,000 after buying an additional 243,908 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Western Gas Partners, by 26.7% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 45,151 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,146,000 after buying an additional 9,525 shares in the last quarter.

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 for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (Anadarko), as well as third-party producers and customers.

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