Western Gas Partners, LP (NYSE:WES) shares dropped 2.3% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as low as $48.75 and last traded at $49.17, with a volume of 98,279 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $50.32.

WES has been the topic of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Western Gas Partners, from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 10th. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Western Gas Partners, in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Western Gas Partners, from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Capital One Financial Corp. downgraded shares of Western Gas Partners, from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 4th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott initiated coverage on shares of Western Gas Partners, in a research report on Friday, July 29th. They set a “buy” rating and a $60.00 price target on the stock. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. Western Gas Partners, presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $53.25.

The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $49.88 and a 200-day moving average price of $46.72. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.13 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 295.80.

Western Gas Partners, (NYSE:WES) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.07. The business earned $428.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $438.63 million. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.44 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Western Gas Partners, LP will post $1.90 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 12th. Investors of record on Monday, August 1st were paid a $0.815 dividend. This represents a $3.26 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.52%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 28th.

In related news, Director James R. Crane sold 60,456 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.39, for a total value of $3,046,377.84. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 409,502 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,634,805.78. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Donald R. Sinclair sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.90, for a total value of $469,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,194 shares in the company, valued at $3,010,698.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

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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