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

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

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. lifted their target price on Atmos Energy from $91.00 to $94.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $87.60.

Shares of Atmos Energy (NYSE ATO) opened at $80.83 on Tuesday. Atmos Energy has a 1 year low of $72.58 and a 1 year high of $93.56. The stock has a market capitalization of $8,953.22, a P/E ratio of 21.61, a P/E/G ratio of 3.00 and a beta of 0.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 0.53 and a quick ratio of 0.35.

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 Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.34. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.40 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Atmos Energy will post 3.61 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ATO. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position 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 purchasing an additional 150,691 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position 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 purchasing an additional 255,277 shares during the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. increased its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 9.0% during the 3rd quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 1,326,551 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $111,218,000 after purchasing an additional 109,120 shares during the last quarter. Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC increased its position 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 purchasing an additional 205,735 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position 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 worth $82,014,000 after purchasing an additional 139,400 shares during the last quarter. 67.70% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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