Short Interest in Atmos Energy Co. (ATO) Grows By 52.2%

Atmos Energy Co. (NYSE:ATO) saw a significant growth in short interest in March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,224,711 shares, a growth of 52.2% from the March 15th total of 804,847 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 441,760 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.8 days. Currently, 1.2% of the company’s stock are sold short.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) opened at 79.92 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $79.41 and a 200-day moving average of $75.00. Atmos Energy has a 52 week low of $68.51 and a 52 week high of $81.97. The company has a market cap of $8.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.41 and a beta of 0.29.

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.04 by $0.04. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.93 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Atmos Energy will post $3.56 EPS for the current year.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Group LTD raised its stake in shares of Atmos Energy by 5.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 450,533 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $33,551,000 after buying an additional 24,125 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its position in Atmos Energy by 2.4% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 947,482 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $70,559,000 after buying an additional 22,107 shares in the last quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in Atmos Energy by 6.7% in the third quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 12,820 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $955,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new position in Atmos Energy during the third quarter worth approximately $42,670,000. Finally, Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky raised its position in Atmos Energy by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 36,445 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,703,000 after buying an additional 1,700 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.86% of the company’s stock.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Atmos Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 14th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $82.80.

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About Atmos Energy

Atmos Energy Corporation is engaged primarily in the regulated natural gas distribution and pipeline businesses, as well as other nonregulated natural gas businesses. The Company operates through three segments: regulated distribution segment, which includes its regulated distribution and related sales operations; regulated pipeline segment, which includes the 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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