Morgan Stanley Raises Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) Price Target to $139.00

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATOGet Rating) had its target price boosted by Morgan Stanley from $128.00 to $139.00 in a research note issued on Wednesday, Benzinga reports. The brokerage presently has an “overweight” rating on the utilities provider’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 13.63% from the company’s previous close.

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on ATO. TheStreet upgraded shares of Atmos Energy from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Monday, December 27th. Mizuho increased their price target on Atmos Energy from $110.00 to $119.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, February 10th. Barclays increased their price objective on Atmos Energy from $101.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, March 25th. StockNews.com initiated coverage on Atmos Energy in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “sell” rating for the company. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on Atmos Energy from $119.00 to $120.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $116.57.

Shares of ATO stock traded up $1.72 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $122.33. 1,824 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,143,091. The stock has a market cap of $16.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.99, a P/E/G ratio of 2.98 and a beta of 0.47. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $114.11 and its two-hundred day moving average is $103.76. Atmos Energy has a 52-week low of $85.80 and a 52-week high of $122.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.89.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATOGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 8th. The utilities provider reported $1.86 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.86. The company had revenue of $1.01 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.02 billion. Atmos Energy had a net margin of 19.88% and a return on equity of 8.77%. Atmos Energy’s quarterly revenue was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.71 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Atmos Energy will post 5.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Atmos Energy news, VP Richard M. Thomas sold 950 shares of Atmos Energy stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.61, for a total value of $101,279.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 37.7% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 911,744 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $87,627,000 after acquiring an additional 249,589 shares in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE increased its stake in Atmos Energy by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 1,176,532 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $113,077,000 after purchasing an additional 34,784 shares during the period. Sigma Planning Corp increased its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 12.9% during the third quarter. Sigma Planning Corp now owns 4,759 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $420,000 after buying an additional 545 shares during the period. Vontobel Holding Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 7.7% during the third quarter. Vontobel Holding Ltd. now owns 4,187 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $370,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB grew its stake in Atmos Energy by 100.0% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 13,272 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,180,000 after purchasing an additional 6,636 shares during the period. 85.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Atmos Energy (Get Rating)

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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