Stock Traders Purchase High Volume of Put Options on Western Gas Equity Partners (WGP)

Western Gas Equity Partners LP (NYSE:WGP) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Traders bought 611 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 902% compared to the typical daily volume of 61 put options.

Western Gas Equity Partners (WGP) opened at $37.77 on Thursday. Western Gas Equity Partners has a 1 year low of $33.92 and a 1 year high of $47.40. The stock has a market capitalization of $8,566.85, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.96 and a beta of 1.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a current ratio of 0.91.

Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 15th. The pipeline company reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $632.02 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $573.10 million. Western Gas Equity Partners had a return on equity of 9.36% and a net margin of 16.75%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 23.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.38 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Western Gas Equity Partners will post 2.06 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 22nd. Investors of record on Thursday, February 1st will be issued a $0.5488 dividend. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.81%. This is a boost from Western Gas Equity Partners’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.54. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 31st. Western Gas Equity Partners’s payout ratio is presently 127.33%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WGP. Icon Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in the 4th quarter worth $119,000. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in the 4th quarter worth $120,000. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in the 4th quarter worth $132,000. Saratoga Research & Investment Management acquired a new position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in the 3rd quarter worth $146,000. Finally, Chilton Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in the 4th quarter worth $259,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 18.21% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts recently commented on WGP shares. Credit Suisse Group started coverage on Western Gas Equity Partners in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $49.00 target price on the stock. UBS Group upgraded Western Gas Equity Partners from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Western Gas Equity Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Barclays cut Western Gas Equity Partners from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $51.00 to $45.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. Finally, Scotiabank reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price target on shares of Western Gas Equity Partners in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $48.58.

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About Western Gas Equity Partners

Western Gas Equity Partners, LP is a limited partnership. The Company is formed to own approximately three types of partnership interests in Western Gas Partners, LP (WES). WES is an master limited partnership (MLP) engaged in the business of gathering, compressing, treating, processing and transporting natural gas, and gathering, stabilizing and transporting condensate, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and crude oil.

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