Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) Raised to “Buy” at UBS Group

UBS Group upgraded shares of Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, Benzinga reports. They currently have $120.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock, up from their prior price target of $119.00.

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on ATO. ValuEngine cut Atmos Energy from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, September 4th. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on Atmos Energy in a research report on Thursday, September 19th. They set a buy rating and a $121.00 target price on the stock. Barclays restated a sell rating and issued a $103.00 price target on shares of Atmos Energy in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price target on Atmos Energy from $115.00 to $122.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, October 14th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Atmos Energy in a research note on Monday, September 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $116.50.

Shares of ATO stock opened at $106.52 on Wednesday. Atmos Energy has a 12 month low of $87.88 and a 12 month high of $115.19. The stock has a market cap of $12.71 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.49, a P/E/G ratio of 3.28 and a beta of 0.14. The company has a current ratio of 0.38, a quick ratio of 0.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $109.23 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $108.32.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.49 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $443.68 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $582.98 million. Atmos Energy had a net margin of 17.62% and a return on equity of 9.19%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.41 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Atmos Energy will post 4.66 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 9th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 25th will be given a dividend of $0.575 per share. This represents a $2.30 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.16%. This is an increase from Atmos Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 22nd. Atmos Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 52.87%.

In related news, SVP David J. Park sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.92, for a total value of $427,680.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. 1.39% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ATO. AE Wealth Management LLC grew its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 93.2% during the second quarter. AE Wealth Management LLC now owns 4,631 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $489,000 after purchasing an additional 2,234 shares in the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System boosted its stake in Atmos Energy by 256.9% in the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 80,107 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,456,000 after purchasing an additional 57,662 shares during the period. Hartford Investment Management Co. boosted its stake in Atmos Energy by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Hartford Investment Management Co. now owns 12,794 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,351,000 after purchasing an additional 156 shares during the period. Strs Ohio grew its holdings in Atmos Energy by 1,608.7% during the 2nd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 24,828 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,620,000 after buying an additional 23,375 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. purchased a new stake in Atmos Energy during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $47,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.01% 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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO)

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