Zooming in on shares of Western Gas Partners, LP (NYSE:WES), we note that the average target price is presently $55.2. This is the consensus target based on projections provided by the covering analysts polled. Wall Street analysts have the ability to provide price target predictions for stocks that they cover.  Price target estimates can be calculated using various methods.  Many investors will track stock target prices, especially when analysts make changes to the projections. A good research report will generally give detailed reasoning for a specific target price estimate. Some investors may follow analyst targets very closely and use the information to complement their own stock research.

The direction of stock market moves in the short-term are highly unpredictable. Many investors will be tempted to ride the wave whether the trend is buying or selling. Fearful investors may make hasty decisions such as panic buying or selling. Investors may feel compelled to buy stocks after a major run higher. This can be related to the fear or missing out. On the other end, investors may be quick to sell quality stocks when the market is in the midst of a broad sell-off. This behavior often translates into falling into the trap of buying high and selling low. 

Checking in on stock price activity for Western Gas Partners, LP (NYSE:WES), we have recently seen shares trading near the $49.26 mark. Investors will often track the current stock price in relation to its 52-week high and low levels. The 52-week high is currently $52.75, and the 52-week low is presently $39.1. When the current stock price is trading close to either the 52-week high or 52-week low, investors may pay closer attention to see if there will be a breakthrough that level. Over the past 12 weeks, the stock has seen a change of 5.01%. Going back to the start of the calendar year, we can see that shares have moved 16.65%. Pulling the focus closer to the past 4 weeks, shares have seen a change of 13.92%. Over the past 5 trading days, the stock has moved 4.48%.

Taking a quick look at analyst opinions, we can see that the current average broker recommendation on shares of Western Gas Partners, LP (NYSE:WES) is presently 1.67. Out of the covering analysts polled by Zacks Research, 6 have put a Strong Buy or Buy rating on the stock. 

As earnings season comes into focus, investors will be closely tracking sell-side estimates. According to analysts polled by Zacks Research, the current quarter EPS consensus estimate is currently sitting at 0.73 for shares of Western Gas Partners, LP (NYSE:WES). The number consists of estimates provided by 2 contributing analysts. For the last reporting period, the company posted a quarterly EPS of 0.39. The consensus estimate for last quarter before the earnings report was 0.75. Looking out further to the next quarter EPS estimate, the consensus is currently resting at 0.75. This consensus estimate includes 2 analysts taken into consideration by Zacks. Shifting the focus to the current fiscal year EPS estimate, the number is currently 1.22. Widening the gaze to the next fiscal year, we can see that the consensus EPS estimate is presently 3.09.

One of the biggest mistakes that can plague the individual investor is not setting up an overall investment plan. Investors may want to start out be setting up an outline of overall goals. Having goals can eventually make the day to day investing decisions at little bit easier over time. Once a plan is in place, investors can then spend more time focusing on the proper stocks to add to the portfolio. Dedicating time for extensive stock research may not be easy, but it may put the investor in a better position. Some investors will go to greater lengths, such as making sure that they have a good reason behind every buy or sell decision. This process may seem unnecessary to some, but it may help the investor stay focused when the market gets choppy and tough decisions need to be made.