Brokerages Expect Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) to Post $0.45 EPS

Analysts predict that Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) will announce earnings of $0.45 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Two analysts have made estimates for Atmos Energy’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.50 and the lowest is $0.39. Atmos Energy posted earnings per share of $0.41 in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 9.8%. The business is scheduled to announce its next earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Atmos Energy will report full year earnings of $4.33 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.30 to $4.35. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will report earnings of $4.63 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.60 to $4.65. Zacks’ EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of research analysts that follow Atmos Energy.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.68 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.68. The firm had revenue of $485.74 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $681.16 million. Atmos Energy had a return on equity of 9.38% and a net margin of 16.94%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 13.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.64 EPS.

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on ATO shares. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on Atmos Energy from $112.00 to $109.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday. Wells Fargo & Co started coverage on Atmos Energy in a research note on Monday, July 15th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $119.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Atmos Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $114.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. Atmos Energy currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $105.50.

Shares of NYSE ATO traded up $1.07 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $110.44. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 674,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 677,620. Atmos Energy has a 12-month low of $87.88 and a 12-month high of $110.93. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $107.72 and a 200-day moving average price of $102.85. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.61, a PEG ratio of 3.78 and a beta of 0.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.44.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 9th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 26th will be paid a $0.525 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 23rd. This represents a $2.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.90%. Atmos Energy’s payout ratio is presently 52.50%.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ATO. Luminus Management LLC raised its holdings in Atmos Energy by 293.1% during the 2nd quarter. Luminus Management LLC now owns 893,511 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $94,319,000 after acquiring an additional 666,193 shares during the period. Verition Fund Management LLC raised its holdings in Atmos Energy by 509.4% during the 2nd quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 33,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,483,000 after acquiring an additional 27,585 shares during the period. HM Payson & Co. bought a new stake in Atmos Energy during the 2nd quarter valued at $109,000. Phocas Financial Corp. bought a new stake in Atmos Energy during the 2nd quarter valued at $4,729,000. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in Atmos Energy by 20.5% during the 2nd quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 248,925 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $26,276,000 after acquiring an additional 42,266 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.26% of the company’s stock.

About Atmos Energy

Atmos Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the regulated natural gas distribution, and pipeline and storage businesses in the United States. It operates through Distribution, and Pipeline and Storage segments. The Distribution segment is involved in the regulated natural gas distribution and related sales operations in eight states.

Featured Story: Google Finance Portfolio Tips and Tricks

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Atmos Energy (ATO)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for Atmos Energy Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Atmos Energy and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.