BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd bought a new stake in Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor bought 10,899 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $936,000.
A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ATO. Nationwide Fund Advisors lifted its stake in Atmos Energy by 0.4% in the third quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 288,052 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $24,150,000 after buying an additional 1,221 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board lifted its stake in Atmos Energy by 11.9% in the third quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 22,500 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,886,000 after buying an additional 2,400 shares during the period. State of Wisconsin Investment Board lifted its stake in Atmos Energy by 3.3% in the third quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 151,433 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $12,696,000 after buying an additional 4,806 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 27.9% during the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 653,063 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $54,752,000 after purchasing an additional 142,352 shares during the period. Finally, Swiss National Bank raised its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.1% during the third quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 387,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $32,522,000 after purchasing an additional 4,100 shares during the period. 72.86% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Atmos Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $103.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price target on Atmos Energy from $101.00 to $90.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 25th. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Atmos Energy in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. Finally, Argus dropped their price target on Atmos Energy from $97.00 to $89.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 18th. 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 stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $84.60.
Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.27. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.08 EPS. research analysts forecast that Atmos Energy Co. will post 3.99 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 12th. Investors of record on Monday, February 26th were given a $0.485 dividend. This represents a $1.94 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 23rd. Atmos Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.60%.
Atmos Energy 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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