Atmos Energy (ATO) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Atmos Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution, transmission, and storage of natural gas in the United States. It operates in three segments: Regulated Distribution, Regulated Pipeline, and Nonregulated. The Regulated Distribution segment is involved in regulated natural gas distribution and related sales operations. This segment distributes natural gas to approximately 3 million residential, commercial, public authority, and industrial customers. The Regulated Pipeline segment engages in the pipeline and storage operations. This segment transports natural gas for third parties and manages five underground storage reservoirs in Texas; and provides ancillary services in the pipeline industry. The Nonregulated segment provides natural gas management, marketing, transportation, and storage services to municipalities, local gas distribution companies, and industrial customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. “

Separately, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on Atmos Energy from $91.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Atmos Energy currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $91.00.

Shares of Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) traded down $0.36 during trading on Thursday, reaching $83.98. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 383,897 shares, compared to its average volume of 564,700. The firm has a market capitalization of $9,330.00, a PE ratio of 23.26, a PEG ratio of 3.18 and a beta of 0.40. The company has a quick ratio of 0.35, a current ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. Atmos Energy has a 12-month low of $72.54 and a 12-month high of $93.56.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last announced its earnings results 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 period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.40 EPS. analysts expect that Atmos Energy will post 3.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 16.6% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 978,216 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $82,014,000 after purchasing an additional 139,400 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its stake in Atmos Energy by 10.1% in the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 171,456 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $14,375,000 after acquiring an additional 15,699 shares during the last quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC bought a new position in Atmos Energy in the 3rd quarter worth about $461,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its stake in Atmos Energy by 68.2% in the 3rd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 76,428 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $6,408,000 after acquiring an additional 30,998 shares during the last quarter. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP bought a new position in Atmos Energy in the 3rd quarter worth about $529,000. Institutional investors own 67.73% 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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