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 research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $94.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 12.99% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Atmos Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution, transmission, and storage of natural gas in the United States. It operates in three segments: Regulated Distribution, Regulated Pipeline, and Nonregulated. The Regulated Distribution segment is involved in regulated natural gas distribution and related sales operations. This segment distributes natural gas to approximately 3 million residential, commercial, public authority, and industrial customers. The Regulated Pipeline segment engages in the pipeline and storage operations. This segment transports natural gas for third parties and manages five underground storage reservoirs in Texas; and provides ancillary services in the pipeline industry. The Nonregulated segment provides natural gas management, marketing, transportation, and storage services to municipalities, local gas distribution companies, and industrial customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. “

Separately, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on Atmos Energy from $91.00 to $94.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. Atmos Energy has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $89.20.

Atmos Energy (NYSE ATO) traded down $0.79 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $83.19. The stock had a trading volume of 377,742 shares, compared to its average volume of 578,174. The company has a market capitalization of $9,230.60, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.67, a PEG ratio of 3.09 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 debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 0.53 and a quick ratio of 0.35.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.40 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Atmos Energy will post 3.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Raymond James Trust N.A. grew its holdings in Atmos Energy by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 3,791 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $315,000 after buying an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank grew its holdings in 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 buying an additional 155 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. grew its holdings in Atmos Energy by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,286 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $356,000 after buying an additional 164 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its holdings in Atmos Energy by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 18,965 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,573,000 after buying an additional 449 shares in the last quarter. Finally, HighTower Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Atmos Energy by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 15,823 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,310,000 after buying an additional 455 shares in the last quarter. 67.73% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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