Jefferies Group LLC lessened its holdings in Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) by 41.1% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 15,937 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 11,138 shares during the period. Jefferies Group LLC’s holdings in Atmos Energy were worth $1,369,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of ATO. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership raised its stake in Atmos Energy by 170.8% in the 4th quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 574,110 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $49,310,000 after acquiring an additional 362,109 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in Atmos Energy in the 4th quarter valued at $23,086,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Atmos Energy by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,988,566 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $857,918,000 after acquiring an additional 172,759 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Atmos Energy by 27.9% during the 3rd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 653,063 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $54,752,000 after buying an additional 142,352 shares during the period. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in 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 buying an additional 139,400 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.86% of the company’s stock.
Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) opened at $81.34 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67. The firm has a market capitalization of $8,989.83, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.90 and a beta of 0.33. Atmos Energy Co. has a 12-month low of $76.46 and a 12-month high of $93.56.
Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.27. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Atmos Energy Co. will post 3.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 12th. Investors of record on Monday, February 26th were given a $0.485 dividend. This represents a $1.94 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 23rd. Atmos Energy’s payout ratio is currently 35.60%.
Several research analysts have weighed in on ATO shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Atmos Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Bank of America reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Atmos Energy in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. Argus lowered their price objective on Atmos Energy from $97.00 to $89.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 18th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $87.00 price objective (down previously from $90.00) on shares of Atmos Energy in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $84.60.
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Atmos Energy 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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