Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. They currently have $90.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Atmos Energy Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, is the country’s largest natural-gas-only distributor, serving over three million natural gas distribution customers in communities from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Atmos Energy also manages company-owned natural gas pipeline and storage assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipeline systems in Texas and currently provides natural gas marketing and procurement services to industrial, commercial and municipal customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. “
Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. Argus reduced their price target on shares of Atmos Energy from $97.00 to $89.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed an overweight rating and set a $87.00 price target (down previously from $90.00) on shares of Atmos Energy in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. Barclays set a $80.00 price target on shares of Atmos Energy and gave the company an underweight rating in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. Finally, Bank of America reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Atmos Energy in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $84.60.
Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.27. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.08 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Atmos Energy will post 3.99 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 12th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 26th will be given a dividend of $0.485 per share. This represents a $1.94 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.42%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 23rd. Atmos Energy’s payout ratio is currently 35.60%.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.8% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,988,566 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $857,918,000 after purchasing an additional 172,759 shares during the last quarter. Zimmer Partners LP purchased a new stake in Atmos Energy in the 4th quarter worth approximately $173,927,000. Magellan Asset Management Ltd increased its holdings in Atmos Energy by 26.8% in the 4th quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd now owns 1,387,309 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $119,156,000 after acquiring an additional 293,071 shares in the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. increased its holdings in 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 acquiring an additional 109,120 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. increased its holdings in Atmos Energy by 16.6% in the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 978,216 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $82,014,000 after acquiring an additional 139,400 shares in the last quarter. 72.46% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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