Western Gas Partners hits fresh 52-week high on growth optimism

Shares of the natural gas processor Western Gas Partners LP hit a fresh 52-week high Wednesday, supported by a positive growth outlook stemming from the Monday acquisition of new processing facilities in Colorado and in anticipation of solid second-quarter earnings.

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A look into four banks’ financial health

With bank earnings season just passed, we now have a wealth of information to gauge the financial health of banks for the fourth-quarter of 2009. So pulling information from the income and cash-flow statements, we can see see how several bank holding companies in the Chicago area stack up. We’ll focus on JP Morgan Chase & Co., which is a New York-based megabank with a large Chicago presence; Lake Forest-based Wintrust Financial Corp.; Itasca-based First Midwest Banc Holdings Inc; and Melrose Park-based Midwest Banc Holdings Inc. (The reason Chase is thrown in the mix is to see how the smaller- and medium-sized bank holding companies compare.)

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