Atmos Energy (ATO) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning. They currently have $103.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.
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. “
ATO has been the topic of several other research reports. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a neutral rating and set a $77.00 target price (up previously from $67.00) on shares of Atmos Energy in a research note on Friday, September 1st. J P Morgan Chase & Co lifted their price objective on Atmos Energy from $91.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Argus lifted their price objective on Atmos Energy from $92.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, BidaskClub raised Atmos Energy from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $89.50.
Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.34. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.40 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Atmos Energy will post 3.61 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 27th were given a dividend of $0.485 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 24th. This represents a $1.94 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.17%. This is an increase from Atmos Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. Atmos Energy’s payout ratio is currently 51.87%.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,274,797 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $852,294,000 after buying an additional 150,691 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,636,125 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $799,314,000 after buying an additional 255,277 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,376,644 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $114,193,000 after buying an additional 23,431 shares during the period. Cohen & Steers Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 9.0% in the 3rd quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 1,326,551 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $111,218,000 after buying an additional 109,120 shares during the period. Finally, Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 22.3% in the 2nd quarter. Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC now owns 1,128,125 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $93,578,000 after buying an additional 205,735 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 67.82% of the company’s stock.
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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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