Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $103.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 15.37% 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 topic of a number of other research 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 research report on Friday, September 1st. J P Morgan Chase & Co lifted their price objective on shares of Atmos Energy from $91.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Argus lifted their price objective on shares of Atmos Energy from $92.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Atmos Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 18th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $89.50.

Shares of Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) traded down $2.63 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $89.28. 536,868 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 379,551. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a current ratio of 0.53. Atmos Energy has a 52-week low of $72.02 and a 52-week high of $93.56. The stock has a market cap of $9,470.00, a P/E ratio of 25.01, a P/E/G ratio of 3.69 and a beta of 0.40.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.34. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.40 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Atmos Energy will post 3.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Proficio Capital Partners LLC boosted its stake in Atmos Energy by 38.1% in 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 in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its stake 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 purchasing an additional 155 shares in the last quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc boosted its stake in 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 purchasing an additional 975 shares in the last quarter. Carnegie Capital Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Atmos Energy in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $216,000. Finally, Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new stake in Atmos Energy in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $223,000. Institutional investors own 67.82% of the company’s stock.

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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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