Atmos Energy (ATO) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Friday. The firm currently has a $94.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 11.93% from the stock’s current price.

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. raised their price objective on shares of Atmos Energy from $91.00 to $94.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $89.20.

Atmos Energy (ATO) traded down $0.36 on Friday, reaching $83.98. 386,900 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 505,433. 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 fifty-two week low of $72.54 and a fifty-two week high of $93.56. The company has a market capitalization of $9,230.00, a P/E ratio of 23.26, a PEG ratio of 3.14 and a beta of 0.40.

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

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ATO. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its holdings in Atmos Energy by 13.6% in the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 1,293 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after acquiring an additional 155 shares during the last quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its holdings 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 valued at $137,000 after acquiring an additional 975 shares during the last quarter. Carnegie Capital Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Atmos Energy in the 2nd quarter valued at $216,000. Private Advisor Group LLC bought a new stake in Atmos Energy in the 3rd quarter valued at $223,000. Finally, Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in Atmos Energy by 72.1% in the 2nd quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,922 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $242,000 after acquiring an additional 1,224 shares during the last quarter. 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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