Short Interest in Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) Rises By 15.6%

Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATOGet Free Report) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest during the month of March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 3,920,000 shares, an increase of 15.6% from the February 29th total of 3,390,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 818,600 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.8 days.

Insider Buying and Selling at Atmos Energy

In related news, Director Kim R. Cocklin sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $116.46, for a total transaction of $1,746,900.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 186,339 shares in the company, valued at $21,701,039.94. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Portside Wealth Group LLC grew its stake in Atmos Energy by 3.8% during the 4th quarter. Portside Wealth Group LLC now owns 2,462 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $285,000 after acquiring an additional 91 shares in the last quarter. Syntax Advisors LLC lifted its position in Atmos Energy by 3.6% in the 3rd quarter. Syntax Advisors LLC now owns 2,876 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $305,000 after buying an additional 101 shares in the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. boosted its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.0% during the 3rd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 10,338 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,095,000 after buying an additional 103 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans grew its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.7% during the 3rd quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 6,224 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $634,000 after acquiring an additional 103 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC raised its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 0.9% during the first quarter. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC now owns 11,354 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,275,000 after acquiring an additional 104 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.17% of the company’s stock.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of research firms recently weighed in on ATO. StockNews.com cut shares of Atmos Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, March 28th. Mizuho raised their target price on Atmos Energy from $131.00 to $133.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. Finally, Barclays increased their price objective on shares of Atmos Energy from $115.00 to $121.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, March 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $124.40.

Get Our Latest Stock Report on ATO

Atmos Energy Price Performance

Shares of NYSE ATO traded down $0.08 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $117.77. The company had a trading volume of 661,212 shares, compared to its average volume of 855,784. The company has a market cap of $17.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.69, a PEG ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.66. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67, a quick ratio of 1.25 and a current ratio of 1.44. The business’s 50-day moving average is $114.59 and its 200 day moving average is $113.14. Atmos Energy has a 52 week low of $101.00 and a 52 week high of $125.28.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATOGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 7th. The utilities provider reported $2.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.09 by ($0.01). Atmos Energy had a return on equity of 8.62% and a net margin of 23.43%. The company had revenue of $1.16 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.71 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.91 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Atmos Energy will post 6.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Atmos Energy Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 26th were given a $0.805 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 23rd. This represents a $3.22 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.73%. Atmos Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 51.11%.

About Atmos Energy

(Get Free Report)

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 two segments, Distribution, and Pipeline and Storage. The Distribution segment is involved in the regulated natural gas distribution and related sales operations in eight states.

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