Meritage Group LP Buys New Position in Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO)

Meritage Group LP bought a new stake in shares of Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATOFree Report) in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor bought 2,733 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $317,000. Atmos Energy makes up approximately 0.0% of Meritage Group LP’s portfolio, making the stock its 24th biggest position.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Baker Avenue Asset Management LP raised its holdings in shares of Atmos Energy by 984.6% during the third quarter. Baker Avenue Asset Management LP now owns 282 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 256 shares in the last quarter. VisionPoint Advisory Group LLC raised its holdings in Atmos Energy by 107.0% in the third quarter. VisionPoint Advisory Group LLC now owns 294 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 152 shares in the last quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC raised its holdings in Atmos Energy by 57.5% in the fourth quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 293 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $33,000 after purchasing an additional 107 shares in the last quarter. GAMMA Investing LLC bought a new position in Atmos Energy in the fourth quarter worth $46,000. Finally, Criterion Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Atmos Energy in the fourth quarter worth $47,000. Institutional investors own 90.17% of the company’s stock.

Analyst Ratings Changes

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on ATO shares. UBS Group started coverage on Atmos Energy in a report on Friday, April 12th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $124.00 price objective for the company. Barclays increased their price objective on Atmos Energy from $121.00 to $129.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 14th. Mizuho raised their price target on Atmos Energy from $133.00 to $138.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Atmos Energy from $120.00 to $122.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 28th. Finally, StockNews.com raised Atmos Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Atmos Energy has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $129.17.

View Our Latest Analysis on Atmos Energy

Insider Buying and Selling

In other Atmos Energy news, Director Kim R. Cocklin sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $116.46, for a total transaction of $1,746,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 186,339 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,701,039.94. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. In other Atmos Energy news, Director Kim R. Cocklin sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $116.46, for a total transaction of $1,746,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 186,339 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,701,039.94. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Diana J. Walters sold 400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.00, for a total value of $47,200.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 3,551 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $419,018. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Atmos Energy Stock Performance

NYSE ATO traded up $3.33 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $115.92. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,985,411 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,165,674. Atmos Energy Co. has a 12 month low of $101.00 and a 12 month high of $125.28. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $116.69 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $115.20. The company has a market cap of $17.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.45 and a beta of 0.66. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 1.36 and a quick ratio of 1.22.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATOGet Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 8th. The utilities provider reported $2.85 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.62 by $0.23. Atmos Energy had a return on equity of 9.01% and a net margin of 24.65%. The company had revenue of $1.65 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.54 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.48 EPS. Atmos Energy’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Atmos Energy Co. will post 6.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Atmos Energy Announces Dividend

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 10th. Investors of record on Tuesday, May 28th will be issued a $0.805 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 24th. This represents a $3.22 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.78%. Atmos Energy’s payout ratio is 48.28%.

About Atmos Energy

(Free Report)

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO)

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