Atmos Energy Corp. (NYSE:ATO) shares saw unusually-high trading volume on Wednesday . Approximately 885,253 shares were traded during mid-day trading, an increase of 74% from the previous session’s volume of 508,386 shares.The stock last traded at $81.16 and had previously closed at $81.13.

ATO has been the subject of several analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Atmos Energy Corp. to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $76.00 to $81.00 in a report on Tuesday, March 29th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Atmos Energy Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Argus restated a “hold” rating on shares of Atmos Energy Corp. in a report on Tuesday, May 10th. Morgan Stanley lowered Atmos Energy Corp. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $72.00 target price for the company. in a report on Friday, March 18th. Finally, BB&T Corp. initiated coverage on Atmos Energy Corp. in a report on Wednesday, March 30th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $80.00 target price for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $75.50.

The firm has a market cap of $8.30 billion and a P/E ratio of 25.68. The company has a 50-day moving average of $75.53 and a 200 day moving average of $71.19.

Atmos Energy Corp. (NYSE:ATO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 4th. The company reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.40. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.36 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Atmos Energy Corp. will post $3.28 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, SVP Marvin L. Sweetin sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.16, for a total transaction of $296,640.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 42,964 shares in the company, valued at $3,186,210.24. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 374,337 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,602,000 after buying an additional 5,898 shares during the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC purchased a new position in Atmos Energy Corp. during the fourth quarter worth about $29,860,000. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new position in Atmos Energy Corp. during the fourth quarter worth about $1,614,000. US Bancorp DE increased its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 18,517 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,167,000 after buying an additional 257 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP increased its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 45.7% in the fourth quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 356,230 shares of the company’s stock worth $22,457,000 after buying an additional 111,809 shares during the last quarter.

Atmos Energy Corporation (Atmos Energy) is engaged primarily in the regulated natural gas distribution and transmission and storage businesses as well as other nonregulated natural gas businesses. The Company delivers natural gas through regulated sales and transportation arrangements to over three million residential, commercial, public authority and industrial customers in nine states located primarily in the South.

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