Atmos Energy (ATO) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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 firm presently has a $103.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 15.37% from the company’s current price.

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 equities research analysts also recently weighed in on ATO. Argus raised their price target on Atmos Energy from $92.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. BidaskClub raised Atmos Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. J P Morgan Chase & Co lifted their target price on Atmos Energy from $91.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $77.00 target price (up previously from $67.00) on shares of Atmos Energy in a report on Friday, September 1st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Atmos Energy presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $89.50.

Shares of Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) traded down $2.63 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $89.28. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 536,868 shares, compared to its average volume of 379,551. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a current ratio of 0.53. The firm has a market capitalization of $9,470.00, a P/E ratio of 25.01, a PEG ratio of 3.69 and a beta of 0.40. Atmos Energy has a fifty-two week low of $72.02 and a fifty-two week high of $93.56.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.34. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.40 earnings per share. analysts expect that Atmos Energy will post 3.61 EPS for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Proficio Capital Partners LLC raised its position in Atmos Energy by 38.1% during the second quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,138 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after acquiring an additional 314 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 13.6% in the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 1,293 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 155 shares in the last quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 159.8% in the third quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 1,585 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 975 shares in the last quarter. Carnegie Capital Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Atmos Energy in the second quarter valued at approximately $216,000. Finally, Private Advisor Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Atmos Energy in the third quarter valued at approximately $223,000. Institutional investors own 67.82% of the company’s stock.

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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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