Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Atmos Energy (ATO) to Hold

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Atmos Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution, transmission, and storage of natural gas in the United States. It operates in three segments: Regulated Distribution, Regulated Pipeline, and Nonregulated. The Regulated Distribution segment is involved in regulated natural gas distribution and related sales operations. This segment distributes natural gas to approximately 3 million residential, commercial, public authority, and industrial customers. The Regulated Pipeline segment engages in the pipeline and storage operations. This segment transports natural gas for third parties and manages five underground storage reservoirs in Texas; and provides ancillary services in the pipeline industry. The Nonregulated segment provides natural gas management, marketing, transportation, and storage services to municipalities, local gas distribution companies, and industrial customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. “

Separately, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on Atmos Energy from $91.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $91.00.

Shares of Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) traded down $0.70 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $84.34. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 460,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 564,700. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a current ratio of 0.53. Atmos Energy has a 52-week low of $72.54 and a 52-week high of $93.56. The company has a market capitalization of $9,330.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.36, a P/E/G ratio of 3.18 and a beta of 0.40.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.40 EPS. equities analysts expect that Atmos Energy will post 3.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 13.6% in the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 1,293 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 155 shares during the period. NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 159.8% in the third quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 1,585 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 975 shares during the period. Carnegie Capital Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Atmos Energy in the second quarter worth about $216,000. Private Advisor Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Atmos Energy in the third quarter worth about $223,000. Finally, Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in Atmos Energy by 72.1% during the 2nd quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,922 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $242,000 after purchasing an additional 1,224 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.73% of the company’s stock.

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Atmos Energy Company 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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