Zacks: Analysts Expect Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE: ATO) to Report EPS of $2.35

Analysts predict that Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO – Get a rating) will report earnings per share (EPS) of $2.35 for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have made earnings estimates for Atmos Energy, with estimates ranging from $2.30 to $2.38. Atmos Energy posted earnings per share of $2.30 in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive growth rate of 2.2% year over year. The company is expected to announce its next earnings report on Monday, January 1.

On average, analysts expect Atmos Energy to report full year earnings of $5.51 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.50 to $5.53. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect the company to post earnings of $5.90 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.85 to $5.95. Zacks EPS averages are an average average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts who provide coverage for Atmos Energy.

Atmos Energy (NYSE: ATO – Get a rating) last released its quarterly results on Tuesday, February 8. The utility provider reported EPS of $1.86 for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.86. Atmos Energy achieved a return on equity of 8.77% and a net margin of 19.88%. The company posted revenue of $1.01 billion in the quarter, versus $1.02 billion expected by analysts. During the same period last year, the company posted earnings per share of $1.71. The company’s revenue increased by 10.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

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ATO has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Morgan Stanley raised its price target on Atmos Energy from $121.00 to $128.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a Tuesday, March 22 research note. TheStreet upgraded Atmos Energy from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a Monday, December 27 research note. Barclays raised its price target on Atmos Energy from $101.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday. Bank of America upgraded Atmos Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised its share price target from $100.00 to $107.00 in a Wednesday, Dec. 15 report. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its price target on Atmos Energy from $119.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a Wednesday, January 19 report. Three analysts gave the stock a hold rating and six gave the company a buy rating. According to data from, the company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $115.00.

In related news, VP Richard M. Thomas sold 950 shares of Atmos Energy in a trade that took place on Thursday, February 10. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.61, for a total transaction of $101,279.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, accessible via this hyperlink. Insiders of the company own 0.90% of the shares of the company.

A number of institutional investors have recently changed their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Atmos Energy by 7.6% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,905,648 shares of the utility provider valued at $1,456,896,000 after purchasing an additional 987,165 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its position in Atmos Energy by 4.6% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 10,245,091 shares of the utility provider valued at $1,073,378,000 after purchasing an additional 455,162 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. increased its position in Atmos Energy by 1.0% in the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 5,474,953 shares of the utility provider valued at $482,891,000 after purchasing an additional 55,815 shares during the period. Deutsche Bank AG increased its position in Atmos Energy by 31.1% in the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 3,884,420 shares of the utility provider valued at $406,971,000 after purchasing an additional 921,239 shares during the period. Finally, GQG Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Atmos Energy in the fourth quarter at a value of $375,224,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors hold 85.21% of the company’s shares.

Atmos Energy stock opened Monday at $118.52. Atmos Energy has a 1-year low of $85.80 and a 1-year high of $118.59. The stock has a market capitalization of $16.05 billion, a PE ratio of 22.32, a growth price-earnings ratio of 2.95 and a beta of 0.46. The company has a debt ratio of 0.67, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a current ratio of 0.96. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $109.17 and a two-hundred-day moving average of $100.16.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 7. Shareholders of record on Monday, February 21 received a dividend of $0.68. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 17. This represents an annualized dividend of $2.72 and a dividend yield of 2.29%. Atmos Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 51.22%.

Atmos Energy Company Profile (Get a rating)

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

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