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Atmos Energy (ATO) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Lag

Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read

Atmos Energy Corporation ATO posted fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings of 53 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 52 cents by 1.9%.

The reported earnings also improved 8.2% from the prior-year figure. The year-over-year improvement in earnings was due to positive rate outcomes in both the segments and customer growth in its distribution segment.

Total Revenues

Total revenues of $474.9 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $571 million by 16.8%. However, the top line increased 7% from the year-ago figure of $443.7 million.

Atmos Energy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Atmos Energy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Atmos Energy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Atmos Energy Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Atmos Energy Corporation Quote

Segment Revenues

Distribution: Revenues from the segment increased 6.5% to $430.2 million from $403.9 million in the prior-year quarter.

Pipeline and Storage: Revenues from the segment increased 6.2% to $156.9 million from $147.7 million in the year-ago quarter. The improvement was driven by an increase in rates.

Quarterly Highlights

Purchased gas cost for the quarter was $18.1 million, up 32.1% from the year-ago period. Operation and maintenance expenses for the quarter were $180.1 million, up 1.3% from the year-ago period.

Operating income for the reported quarter was up 12.4% year over year to $100.8 million.

The company incurred interest expenses of $15.5 million, down 46.2% from the year-ago period.

Financial Highlights

As of Sep 30, 2020, Atmos Energy had cash and cash equivalents of $20.8 million compared with $24.6 million on Sep 30, 2019.

Long-term debt was $4.53 billion as of Sep 30, 2020, up from $3.53 billion on Sep 30, 2019.

The company’s cash flow from operating activities for fiscal 2020 was $1,037.9 million, up from $968.8 million recorded in the comparable year-ago period.

It invested $1,925.5 million in fiscal 2020 to strengthen operations. The figure was up 14% from the year-ago period. Nearly 88% of the capital spending was related to system safety and increased reliability of its services.

Guidance

Atmos Energy expects fiscal 2021 earnings in the range of $4.90-$5.10 per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2021 earnings is $5.03 per share. It expects capital expenditure in the range of $2-$2.2 billion for fiscal 2021.

Zacks Rank

Atmos Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Releases

Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. PAA reported third-quarter 2020 adjusted net income of 46 cents per unit, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 32 cents by 43.8%.

MDU Resources Group Inc. MDU reported third-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 76 cents per share, which increased 11.8% from the year-ago level.

ONE Gas Inc. OGS reported third-quarter 2020 earnings of 39 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 36 cents by 8.3%.

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