Morgan Stanley Lowers Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) Price Target to $138.00

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATOGet Rating) had its price target trimmed by Morgan Stanley from $140.00 to $138.00 in a research report sent to investors on Thursday, Stock Target Advisor reports. The brokerage currently has an overweight rating on the utilities provider’s stock.

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Barclays reduced their price target on shares of Atmos Energy from $125.00 to $115.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 18th. StockNews.com lowered shares of Atmos Energy from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, September 2nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on shares of Atmos Energy to $131.00 in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Atmos Energy presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $123.13.

Atmos Energy Stock Up 0.6 %

Shares of ATO opened at $113.33 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.85 billion, a PE ratio of 20.53, a P/E/G ratio of 2.72 and a beta of 0.51. Atmos Energy has a 1 year low of $85.80 and a 1 year high of $122.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 0.94 and a current ratio of 1.01. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $115.87 and its 200-day simple moving average is $114.94.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATOGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.92 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.08. Atmos Energy had a net margin of 18.57% and a return on equity of 8.73%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.78 EPS. Analysts forecast that Atmos Energy will post 5.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Atmos Energy Announces Dividend

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 22nd were paid a $0.68 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 19th. This represents a $2.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.40%. Atmos Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 49.28%.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Atmos Energy

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Huntington National Bank grew its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 13.3% during the first quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 2,550 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $304,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System grew its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 1.2% during the first quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System now owns 72,310 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,640,000 after acquiring an additional 829 shares during the last quarter. Ahrens Investment Partners LLC grew its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 56.6% during the first quarter. Ahrens Investment Partners LLC now owns 783 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $94,000 after acquiring an additional 283 shares during the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System grew its position in shares of Atmos Energy by 3.5% during the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 36,862 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,405,000 after acquiring an additional 1,252 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Kenfarb & CO. purchased a new position in shares of Atmos Energy during the fourth quarter worth approximately $516,000. 90.71% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Atmos Energy Company Profile

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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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