Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) Sees Strong Trading Volume

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Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) shares saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 63,544 shares were traded during mid-day trading, a decline of 94% from the previous session’s volume of 996,490 shares.The stock last traded at $105.97 and had previously closed at $104.20.

Several research analysts have recently commented on the company. Barclays raised Atmos Energy from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $95.00 to $101.00 in a report on Monday, December 13th. Argus downgraded Atmos Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 7th. Bank of America raised Atmos Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $100.00 to $107.00 in a report on Wednesday, December 15th. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Atmos Energy from $119.00 to $126.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 21st. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Atmos Energy from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Monday, December 27th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, Atmos Energy presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $110.00.

The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $98.47 and its 200 day simple moving average is $96.49. The company has a market cap of $14.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.55, a PEG ratio of 2.66 and a beta of 0.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 0.76 and a current ratio of 0.81.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 10th. The utilities provider reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.03. Atmos Energy had a net margin of 19.53% and a return on equity of 8.67%. The business had revenue of $568.38 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $622.75 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.53 EPS. As a group, research analysts forecast that Atmos Energy Co. will post 5.49 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 13th. Investors of record on Monday, November 29th were given a $0.68 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 26th. This represents a $2.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.56%. This is a boost from Atmos Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. Atmos Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 52.71%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ATO. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 15,853,316 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,523,663,000 after buying an additional 467,099 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.9% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 9,353,526 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $898,967,000 after buying an additional 170,495 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.0% during the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 5,474,953 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $482,891,000 after buying an additional 55,815 shares during the last quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd now owns 3,903,799 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $375,194,000 after buying an additional 19,477 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG boosted its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 38.2% during the 3rd quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 2,963,181 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $261,351,000 after buying an additional 818,407 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.63% of the company’s stock.

Atmos Energy Company Profile (NYSE:ATO)

Atmos Energy Corp. engages in the regulated natural gas distribution and pipeline and storage businesses. It operates through the Distribution, and Pipeline and Storage business segments. The Distribution segment comprises regulated natural gas distribution and related sales operations. The Pipeline and Storage segment includes the pipeline and storage operations of Atmos Pipeline-Texas division and natural gas transmission operations in Louisiana.

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