Atmos Energy (ATO) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $93.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 14.76% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Atmos Energy Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, is the country’s largest natural-gas-only distributor, serving over three million natural gas distribution customers in communities from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Atmos Energy also manages company-owned natural gas pipeline and storage assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipeline systems in Texas and currently provides natural gas marketing and procurement services to industrial, commercial and municipal customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. “

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on ATO. Argus cut their price objective on Atmos Energy from $97.00 to $89.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price target on Atmos Energy from $101.00 to $90.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, Barclays set a $80.00 price target on Atmos Energy and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $85.20.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) opened at $81.04 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $9,110.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.96 and a beta of 0.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.64. Atmos Energy has a 52-week low of $76.09 and a 52-week high of $93.56.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.27. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Atmos Energy will post 4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ATO. Zimmer Partners LP purchased a new position in shares of Atmos Energy in the fourth quarter valued at $173,927,000. Deutsche Bank AG increased its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 364.1% in the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 853,459 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $73,298,000 after buying an additional 669,556 shares in the last quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Atmos Energy in the fourth quarter valued at $38,917,000. Luminus Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Atmos Energy in the fourth quarter valued at $34,965,000. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 154.1% in the fourth quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 657,907 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $56,508,000 after buying an additional 398,996 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.45% 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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