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

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Investors focused on the Utilities space have likely heard of Atmos Energy (ATO - Free Report) , but is the stock performing well in comparison to the rest of its sector peers? Let's take a closer look at the stock's year-to-date performance to find out.

Atmos Energy is one of 122 individual stocks in the Utilities sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #11 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different groups, measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the sector to gauge the strength of each group.

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. ATO 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 0.37% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.

Based on the latest available data, ATO has gained about 19.93% so far this year. In comparison, Utilities companies have returned an average of 14.78%. This means that Atmos Energy is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

Looking more specifically, ATO belongs to the Utility - Gas Distribution industry, which includes 18 individual stocks and currently sits at #151 in the Zacks Industry Rank.

Going forward, investors interested in Utilities stocks should continue to pay close attention to ATO as it looks to continue its solid performance.

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