Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) has recently announced its quarterly earnings results that seem to be a bit disappointing as the company’s earnings per share missed the consensus estimate by ($0.02). Nonetheless, the company’s revenue had shown significant growth compared to last year’s quarter as it was up by 46.5%, reaching $1.48 billion in Q4 of 2020.
The State of Michigan Retirement System seems to have lost faith in Atmos Energy and reduced its stake in the company by 7.3% during the 4th quarter, according to the most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor sold around 4,800 shares, leaving them with 60,510 shares and bringing down their holdings’ value to $6.781 million.
Despite this move from a prominent shareholder of Atmos Energy, several research firms have issued mixed reports about ATO’s current situation in the market. Citigroup increased its price objective on ATO’s stocks from $107.00 to $125.00 and gave it a “neutral” rating on February 14th, while StockNews.com gave Atmos Energy a “sell” rating for the company on March 16th.
On the other hand, Mizuho upped its price objective on Atmos Energy shares from $128.00 to $137.00 and gave it a “buy” rating on February 9th, and JPMorgan Chase & Co also issued an “overweight” rating for ATO with lowered target prices on Monday, January 9th.
In conclusion, ATMOS energy is caught between opinions of bullish investors such as Mizuho and cautious ones like Citigroup who believe that some risks prevail due to various factors contributing towards lackluster performance or uncertain results-oriented factors within their industry sector. It remains to be seen which side wins out over others given today’s dynamic climate where businesses are under constant pressure to deliver exceptional financial results under a challenging economic paradigm.
Hedge Funds Boost their Stakes in Atmos Energy while Market Capitalization Rises
Atmos Energy, a leading provider of natural gas distribution services and one of the largest publicly-traded companies in Texas, has seen a significant increase in stake from multiple hedge funds. Sigma Planning Corp now owns 2,957 shares of Atmos Energy’s stock valued at $301,000 after an additional acquisition of 168 shares last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc also boosted their holding by 10.8%, owning approximately 13,999 shares worth $515,000 during the same period. The Great West Life Assurance Co. Can bought a new position in third quarter’s ATO shares worth around $14,517,000 while Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc lifted its share by a sensible 3.2%. Assenagon Asset Management S.A showed valuable interest without delay and acquired new stakes during the same period for roughly $3,194,000. Overall nearly 91%of ATO’s stock is owned by other hedge funds and institutional investors.
The market capitalization of Atmos Energy is currently at $16.52 billion with an opening price of $115.42 on Monday with a steady beta at 0.62 for now some time already.The company recently paid its quarterly dividend on March 6th whereby shareholders were granted a return rate of yield equal to $0.74 per share which was paid to recorded shareholders as of Friday February 10th .This represented a remarkable annualized income payout rate amounting to$2.96 per share with an attractive yield averaging out at about 2.56%.
Research firms have issued reports on ATO providing different ratings and reviews.
Citigroup increased their price target from $107 t0 $125 rating the ATO stocks as “neutral”. StockNews.com rated it as “sell” on Thursday,March16th but there are several buy recommended reviews such as Mizhu which upgraded its target price from$128 to$137 giving it a strong “buy” rating.JPMorgan Chase & Co lowered its target price from$125 to $115 yet still recommended an “overweight” rating for the stock. Wells Fargo & Company on the other hand remained consistent with their positive outlooks and boosted their price objective on ATO shares from $123 to $132 which seems to be a very promising development for Atmos Energy thus far.
Recently it was reported that Director Kim R. Cocklin sold 12,500 shares of ATO’s stock at a market average price of $117.14.Accompanying the transaction filing with the SEC,his current direct holding now rests at roughly 228,846 shares valued around$26,807,020.44.This can perhaps serve as indication of potential decision making within the company’s designated board room circles as they seemingly manoeuvre through a dynamic postmodern global economy, keeping their stakeholders and shareholders abreast of ongoing activity in multiple directions at a time.
Nevertheless ,the future is still unknown despite all these promising developments.Certainly this news will surely play an important role in ensuring investors remain informed and capable of making well-informed decisions regarding Atmos Energy moving forward.