Jefferies Group LLC cut its holdings in Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) by 41.1% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 15,937 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 11,138 shares during the quarter. Jefferies Group LLC’s holdings in Atmos Energy were worth $1,369,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,988,566 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $857,918,000 after buying an additional 172,759 shares in the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 9.0% in the third quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 1,326,551 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $111,218,000 after buying an additional 109,120 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 16.6% in the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 978,216 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $82,014,000 after buying an additional 139,400 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Atmos Energy by 3.9% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 889,395 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $76,348,000 after purchasing an additional 33,675 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. boosted its position in Atmos Energy by 14.2% during the fourth quarter. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. now owns 803,785 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $69,037,000 after purchasing an additional 100,000 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.84% of the company’s stock.
A number of research firms have commented on ATO. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Atmos Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 9th. Bank of America reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Atmos Energy in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. JPMorgan Chase reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $87.00 target price (down from $90.00) on shares of Atmos Energy in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. Barclays set a $80.00 target price on Atmos Energy and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. Finally, Argus decreased their target price 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. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $84.60.
NYSE ATO opened at $84.15 on Friday. Atmos Energy Co. has a fifty-two week low of $76.46 and a fifty-two week high of $93.56. The firm has a market capitalization of $9,287.20, a PE ratio of 23.38, a P/E/G ratio of 2.99 and a beta of 0.24. The company has a quick ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67.
Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.27. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.08 earnings per share. research analysts predict 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. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 26th were issued a $0.485 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 23rd. This represents a $1.94 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.31%. Atmos Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 53.89%.
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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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