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Is Atmos Energy (ATO) Stock Outpacing Its Utilities Peers This Year?

The Utilities group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Has Atmos Energy (ATO) been one of those stocks this year? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Utilities sector should help us answer this question.

Atmos Energy is a member of the Utilities sector. This group includes 99 individual stocks and currently holds a Zacks Sector Rank of #1. The Zacks Sector Rank includes 16 different groups and is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors.

The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. Atmos Energy is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for ATO's full-year earnings has moved 1.2% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.

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According to our latest data, ATO has moved about 2% on a year-to-date basis. Meanwhile, stocks in the Utilities group have lost about 3.4% on average. As we can see, Atmos Energy is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.

Another Utilities stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Cemig (CIG). The stock has returned 12.8% year-to-date.

In Cemig's case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 2.3% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Looking more specifically, Atmos Energy belongs to the Utility - Gas Distribution industry, a group that includes 13 individual stocks and currently sits at #92 in the Zacks Industry Rank. Stocks in this group have lost about 2.7% so far this year, so ATO is performing better this group in terms of year-to-date returns.

In contrast, Cemig falls under the Utility - Electric Power industry. Currently, this industry has 57 stocks and is ranked #59. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved -6%.

Investors interested in the Utilities sector may want to keep a close eye on Atmos Energy and Cemig as they attempt to continue their solid performance.

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Comp En De Mn Cemig ADS (CIG) : Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research