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

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. increased their price objective on Atmos Energy from $91.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Atmos Energy has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $89.20.

Atmos Energy (ATO) traded down $0.16 on Tuesday, hitting $79.84. The stock had a trading volume of 738,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 562,656. The company has a market capitalization of $8,858.90, a PE ratio of 21.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.97 and a beta of 0.40. Atmos Energy has a 1 year low of $72.58 and a 1 year high of $93.56. 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 (NYSE:ATO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.34. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.40 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Atmos Energy will post 3.61 EPS for the current year.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in ATO. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Atmos Energy by 1.5% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,274,797 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $852,294,000 after buying an additional 150,691 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Atmos Energy by 2.7% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,636,125 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $799,314,000 after buying an additional 255,277 shares during the period. Cohen & Steers Inc. lifted its holdings in Atmos Energy by 9.0% during the third quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 1,326,551 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $111,218,000 after buying an additional 109,120 shares during the period. Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC lifted its holdings in Atmos Energy by 22.3% during the second quarter. Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC now owns 1,128,125 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $93,578,000 after buying an additional 205,735 shares during the period. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in Atmos Energy by 16.6% during the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 978,216 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $82,014,000 after buying an additional 139,400 shares during the period. 67.70% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Atmos Energy

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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