Atmos Energy Corp. (ATO) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy
Atmos Energy Corp. (NYSE:ATO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $77.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 11.66% from the stock’s previous close.
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 subject of a number of other research reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reduced their price objective on shares of Atmos Energy Corp. from $88.00 to $87.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price objective on shares of Atmos Energy Corp. from $58.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $76.43.
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Atmos Energy Corp. (NYSE:ATO) traded down 2.46% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $68.96. The company had a trading volume of 592,658 shares. Atmos Energy Corp. has a 52 week low of $58.75 and a 52 week high of $81.97. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.16 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.94 and a beta of 0.30. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $74.09 and a 200 day moving average price of $75.31.
Atmos Energy Corp. (NYSE:ATO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.69 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.11. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.54 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Atmos Energy Corp. will post $3.30 earnings per share for the current year.
In related news, SVP Louis P. Gregory sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.10, for a total value of $312,400.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 82,182 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,418,414.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Thomas C. Meredith sold 1,020 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.24, for a total value of $76,744.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 3.1% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 362,484 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,917,000 after buying an additional 10,995 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 3.4% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 386,100 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,672,000 after buying an additional 12,700 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 42.9% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 161,749 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,012,000 after buying an additional 48,550 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 174.2% in the first quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,522 shares of the company’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 967 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI purchased a new position in Atmos Energy Corp. during the first quarter valued at about $1,003,000. 70.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Atmos Energy Corp.
Atmos Energy Corporation (Atmos Energy) is engaged primarily in the regulated natural gas distribution and transmission and storage businesses as well as other nonregulated natural gas businesses. The Company delivers natural gas through regulated sales and transportation arrangements to over three million residential, commercial, public authority and industrial customers in nine states located primarily in the South.
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