Shares of Atmos Energy Corporation (NYSE:ATO) have earned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the seven brokerages that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1 year target price among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $89.50.

ATO has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $77.00 price objective (up previously from $67.00) on shares of Atmos Energy in a report on Friday, September 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Atmos Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $103.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. J P Morgan Chase & Co upped their price objective on shares of Atmos Energy from $91.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Argus upped their price objective on shares of Atmos Energy from $92.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Proficio Capital Partners LLC boosted its stake in Atmos Energy by 38.1% during the 2nd quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,138 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 314 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank lifted 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 worth $107,000 after acquiring an additional 155 shares during the period. NEXT Financial Group Inc lifted 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 worth $137,000 after acquiring an additional 975 shares during the period. Carnegie Capital Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Atmos Energy in the 2nd quarter worth $216,000. Finally, Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Atmos Energy in the 3rd quarter worth $223,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.82% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Atmos Energy (NYSE ATO) traded down $0.05 on Thursday, reaching $89.37. 1,487,936 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 588,041. The firm has a market capitalization of $9,911.94, a P/E ratio of 24.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.34 and a beta of 0.40. Atmos Energy has a 52 week low of $72.54 and a 52 week high of $93.56. The company has a current ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.40 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Atmos Energy will post 3.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 27th were issued a $0.485 dividend. This is a positive change from Atmos Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. This represents a $1.94 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 24th. Atmos Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.87%.

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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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