Atmos Energy Corporation (NYSE:ATO) has been assigned an average rating of “Buy” from the seven brokerages that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $89.50.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on ATO. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Atmos Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $103.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised 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. Goldman Sachs Group restated a “neutral” rating and set a $77.00 price objective (up from $67.00) on shares of Atmos Energy in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Argus raised 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 upgraded shares of Atmos Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 18th.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Marshall Wace North America L.P. lifted its holdings in Atmos Energy by 575.3% in the 2nd quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 404,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $33,600,000 after purchasing an additional 344,875 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 2.7% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,636,125 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $799,314,000 after acquiring an additional 255,277 shares during the period. Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 22.3% during the 2nd quarter. Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC now owns 1,128,125 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $93,578,000 after acquiring an additional 205,735 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,274,797 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $852,294,000 after acquiring an additional 150,691 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its position in Atmos Energy by 27.9% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 653,063 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $54,752,000 after acquiring an additional 142,352 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.82% of the company’s stock.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) traded down $0.54 on Thursday, reaching $89.42. 688,996 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 381,859. The company has a current ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. The stock has a market capitalization of $9,901.96, a P/E ratio of 24.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.32 and a beta of 0.40. Atmos Energy has a fifty-two week low of $72.02 and a fifty-two week high of $93.56.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 11th. Investors of record on Monday, November 27th were given a $0.485 dividend. This is an increase from Atmos Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 24th. This represents a $1.94 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.17%. Atmos Energy’s dividend payout ratio is 51.87%.

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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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