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7 Natural Gas Stocks to Watch

5. Western Gas Partners (WES - Get Report), a Master Limited Partnership formed by Anadarko Petroleum, owns, operates, acquires and develops midstream energy assets. The company engages in the business of gathering, processing, compressing, treating and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and crude oil in the U.S.

Of the 12 analysts covering the stock, 67% recommend buying and the remaining suggest a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Its average 12-month price target is $39.86, which is 14.6% higher than the current price, as per a Bloomberg consensus.

For the second quarter of 2011, the company reported total revenue of $161.7 million as compared to $124.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Net income attributable to the company stood at $33.9 million, or 39 cents per diluted share, compared to $29.0 million, or 35 cents per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2010. Total throughput for the second quarter increased sequentially by 3% to 1,555 MMcf/d. The company paid quarterly dividend of 40.5 cents per unit for the second quarter, indicating 4% sequential increase and 16% year-over-year increase.

The company has raised its full-year 2011 guidance for adjusted EBITDA to a range of $245 to $260 million from the previous view of $230 to $250 million, after the acquisition of Bison Assets as well as its strong year-to-date performance. Meanwhile, it has reduced its guidance for maintenance capital expenditure as a percent of adjusted EBITDA to a range of 8% to 11% from the earlier 11% to 14%. Total capital expenditure is seen in the range of $97 to $112 million.

The company recently said it will offer up to 5.75 million new shares and use some or all the proceeds to repay its debt. WES added it will offer 5 million shares representing limited-partner interests, and give underwriters the option to buy up to 750,000 more.

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