Atmos Energy (ATO) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday morning.
According to Zacks, “Atmos Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution, transmission, and storage of natural gas in the United States. It operates in three segments: Regulated Distribution, Regulated Pipeline, and Nonregulated. The Regulated Distribution segment is involved in regulated natural gas distribution and related sales operations. This segment distributes natural gas to approximately 3 million residential, commercial, public authority, and industrial customers. The Regulated Pipeline segment engages in the pipeline and storage operations. This segment transports natural gas for third parties and manages five underground storage reservoirs in Texas; and provides ancillary services in the pipeline industry. The Nonregulated segment provides natural gas management, marketing, transportation, and storage services to municipalities, local gas distribution companies, and industrial customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. “
A number of other brokerages have also commented on ATO. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued an overweight rating and set a $87.00 price objective (down previously from $90.00) on shares of Atmos Energy in a report on Thursday, February 8th. Barclays set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Atmos Energy and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Thursday, February 8th. Finally, Argus decreased their price objective on shares of Atmos Energy from $97.00 to $89.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $85.40.
Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.13 by $0.27. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.08 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Atmos Energy will post 4 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 12th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 26th will be paid a $0.485 dividend. This represents a $1.94 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.41%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 23rd. Atmos Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.79%.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Trustcore Financial Services LLC bought a new position in shares of Atmos Energy in the 4th quarter valued at about $105,000. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 13.6% in the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 1,293 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after purchasing an additional 155 shares during the last quarter. Independence Bank of Kentucky bought a new position in shares of Atmos Energy in the 4th quarter valued at about $112,000. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new position in shares of Atmos Energy in the 4th quarter valued at about $119,000. Finally, NEXT Financial Group Inc boosted its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 159.8% in the 3rd quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 1,585 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $137,000 after purchasing an additional 975 shares during the last quarter. 66.69% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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Atmos Energy Company Profile
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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