Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $103.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 14.50% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Atmos Energy Corporation distributes and sells natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and other customers. Atmos operates through five divisions in cities, towns and communities in service areas located in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The Company has entered into an agreement to sell all of its natural gas utility operations in South Carolina. The Company also transports natural gas for others through its distribution system. “

Several other analysts have also commented on the company. J P Morgan Chase & Co increased their price objective on Atmos Energy from $91.00 to $94.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Goldman Sachs Group reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $77.00 price objective (up previously from $67.00) on shares of Atmos Energy in a report on Friday, September 1st. BidaskClub upgraded Atmos Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. Finally, Argus increased their price objective on Atmos Energy from $92.00 to $97.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $89.50.

Shares of Atmos Energy (ATO) opened at $89.96 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $9,901.96, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.32 and a beta of 0.40. Atmos Energy has a twelve month low of $72.02 and a twelve month high of $93.56.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.34. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.40 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Atmos Energy will post 3.61 EPS for the current year.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ATO. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado increased its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 3,243 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $269,000 after acquiring an additional 35 shares during the period. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. increased its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 163.7% in the 2nd quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 6,896 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $572,000 after acquiring an additional 4,281 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board grew its position in Atmos Energy by 67.5% during the 2nd quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 20,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,667,000 after purchasing an additional 8,100 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its position in Atmos Energy by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 328,394 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $27,241,000 after purchasing an additional 8,180 shares during the period. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System grew its position in Atmos Energy by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 44,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,683,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares during the period. 67.82% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Atmos Energy

Atmos Energy Corporation is a fully-regulated, natural-gas-only distributor engaged primarily in the regulated natural gas distribution and pipeline businesses, as well as other nonregulated natural gas businesses. It operates through three segments: regulated distribution segment, which includes its regulated distribution and related sales operations; regulated pipeline segment, which includes pipeline and storage operations of its Atmos Pipeline-Texas Division, and nonregulated segment, which includes its nonregulated natural gas management, nonregulated natural gas transmission, storage and other services.

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