Atmos Energy Co. (ATO) Given Average Recommendation of “Buy” by Analysts

Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the ten research firms that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, two have issued a hold recommendation and seven have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month target price among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $99.33.

ATO has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Bank of America lifted their target price on shares of Atmos Energy from $94.00 to $101.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $101.00 target price on shares of Atmos Energy in a research report on Monday, December 31st. UBS Group cut shares of Atmos Energy from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $106.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, December 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Citigroup lifted their target price on shares of Atmos Energy from $88.00 to $103.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Atmos Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $101.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 31st.

Shares of Atmos Energy stock traded up $1.09 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $97.05. 2,440,370 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,807,101. Atmos Energy has a 12 month low of $78.75 and a 12 month high of $100.76. The company has a quick ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. The stock has a market cap of $11.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.26, a P/E/G ratio of 3.47 and a beta of 0.23.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The utilities provider reported $1.38 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.33 by $0.05. Atmos Energy had a net margin of 14.39% and a return on equity of 9.17%. The firm had revenue of $877.78 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $969.71 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.40 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Atmos Energy will post 4.29 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 11th. Investors of record on Monday, February 25th will be issued a $0.525 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 22nd. This represents a $2.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.16%. Atmos Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 52.50%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 20.0% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,525,109 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,254,048,000 after purchasing an additional 2,251,627 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 11,741,047 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,102,603,000 after purchasing an additional 159,027 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 9,596.8% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,233,224 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $46,000 after purchasing an additional 4,189,568 shares during the period. Magellan Asset Management Ltd raised its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 8.9% in the 3rd quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd now owns 2,089,064 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $196,184,000 after purchasing an additional 170,894 shares during the period. Finally, Cohen & Steers Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 0.3% in the 3rd quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 1,458,673 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $136,984,000 after purchasing an additional 4,993 shares during the period. 78.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Atmos Energy

Atmos Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the regulated natural gas distribution, and pipeline and storage businesses in the United States. It operates through Distribution, and Pipeline and Storage segments. The Distribution segment is involved in the regulated natural gas distribution and related sales operations in eight states.

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Analyst Recommendations for Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO)

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