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

According to Zacks, “Atmos Energy Corporation distributes and sells natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and other customers. Atmos operates through five divisions in cities, towns and communities in service areas located in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The Company has entered into an agreement to sell all of its natural gas utility operations in South Carolina. The Company also transports natural gas for others through its distribution system. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Argus upgraded shares of Atmos Energy Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $81.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 31st. Seaport Global Securities assumed coverage on shares of Atmos Energy Corp. in a research note on Friday, November 18th. They set a “buy” rating and a $80.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price objective on shares of Atmos Energy Corp. from $88.00 to $87.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, August 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $77.67.

Analyst Recommendations for Atmos Energy Corp. (NYSE:ATO)

Shares of Atmos Energy Corp. (NYSE:ATO) opened at 71.12 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $7.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.06 and a beta of 0.28. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $71.80 and its 200 day moving average price is $74.91. Atmos Energy Corp. has a 52 week low of $60.00 and a 52 week high of $81.97.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 12th. Investors of record on Monday, November 28th will be paid a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.53%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 23rd. This is a positive change from Atmos Energy Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. Atmos Energy Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 52.94%.

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Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ATO. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. raised its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 104.5% in the third quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 1,378 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 704 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 89.1% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,621 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 764 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 38.0% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 2,101 shares of the company’s stock worth $170,000 after buying an additional 579 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 7.4% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,147 shares of the company’s stock worth $175,000 after buying an additional 147 shares in the last quarter. Finally, NEXT Financial Group Inc raised its position in Atmos Energy Corp. by 150.2% in the third quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 2,510 shares of the company’s stock worth $187,000 after buying an additional 1,507 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.12% of the company’s stock.

About Atmos Energy Corp.

Atmos Energy Corporation (Atmos Energy) is engaged primarily in the regulated natural gas distribution and transmission and storage businesses as well as other nonregulated natural gas businesses. The Company delivers natural gas through regulated sales and transportation arrangements to over three million residential, commercial, public authority and industrial customers in nine states located primarily in the South.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:ATO

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