Atmos Energy Co. (ATO) Short Interest Update

Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,508,336 shares, an increase of 55.9% from the January 12th total of 967,365 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 806,057 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.9 days. Approximately 1.4% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ATO. Zimmer Partners LP acquired a new stake in shares of Atmos Energy during the 4th quarter worth about $173,927,000. Deutsche Bank AG increased its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 364.1% during the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 853,459 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $73,298,000 after purchasing an additional 669,556 shares in the last quarter. Luminus Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Atmos Energy during the 4th quarter worth about $34,965,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 154.1% during the 4th quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 657,907 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $56,508,000 after purchasing an additional 398,996 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership increased its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 170.8% during the 4th quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 574,110 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $49,310,000 after purchasing an additional 362,109 shares in the last quarter. 66.69% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) opened at $80.24 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $8,920.69, a PE ratio of 14.72, a PEG ratio of 2.87 and a beta of 0.30. Atmos Energy has a 1-year low of $74.47 and a 1-year high of $93.56. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.13 by $0.27. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.08 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Atmos Energy will post 4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 12th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 26th will be issued a dividend of $0.485 per share. This represents a $1.94 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.42%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 23rd. Atmos Energy’s payout ratio is 35.60%.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on ATO. Barclays set a $80.00 price target on shares of Atmos Energy and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, February 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Atmos Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $90.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, February 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $87.00 price objective (down from $90.00) on shares of Atmos Energy in a report on Thursday, February 8th. Finally, Argus reduced their price objective on shares of Atmos Energy from $97.00 to $89.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, January 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Atmos Energy presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.60.

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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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