Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) has received a consensus rating of “Hold” from the nine research firms that are covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $103.57.

A number of research firms have recently commented on ATO. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Atmos Energy in a research report on Monday, September 2nd. ValuEngine lowered shares of Atmos Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 4th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on shares of Atmos Energy from $112.00 to $109.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, August 16th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Atmos Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $114.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 24th.

Shares of NYSE:ATO traded up $0.77 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $109.57. 982,342 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 928,298. The firm has a market cap of $12.73 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.39, a PEG ratio of 3.73 and a beta of 0.21. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 0.44 and a current ratio of 0.56. Atmos Energy has a 52-week low of $87.88 and a 52-week high of $111.90. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $109.22 and its 200 day simple moving average is $104.39.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68. Atmos Energy had a return on equity of 9.38% and a net margin of 16.94%. The firm had revenue of $485.74 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $681.16 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.64 EPS. Atmos Energy’s quarterly revenue was down 13.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Atmos Energy will post 4.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 9th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 26th were given a dividend of $0.525 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 23rd. This represents a $2.10 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.92%. Atmos Energy’s payout ratio is 52.50%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ATO. Invesco Ltd. increased its stake in Atmos Energy by 153.1% during the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 2,132,008 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $225,055,000 after purchasing an additional 1,289,585 shares during the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC bought a new stake in shares of Atmos Energy in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $1,734,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Atmos Energy by 950.5% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 765,991 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $80,858,000 after purchasing an additional 693,076 shares during the period. Luminus Management LLC grew its stake in Atmos Energy by 293.1% during the 2nd quarter. Luminus Management LLC now owns 893,511 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $94,319,000 after buying an additional 666,193 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Maple Brown Abbott Ltd increased its position in Atmos Energy by 89.7% in the first quarter. Maple Brown Abbott Ltd now owns 873,464 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $89,390,000 after buying an additional 413,040 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.79% of the company’s stock.

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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