Assurant The insurance company reported earlier this month fourth-quarter earnings of $162.3 million, or $1.73 a share, a swing from a year-earlier loss of $184.4 million, or $1.74 a share. Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.6% Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was basically the same as the previous year. In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 5.15% from the prior year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $50.73. The stock closed Tuesday at $44.39 and has risen 8.11% year to date.
Atmos Energy The natural gas company reported earlier this month first-quarter earnings of $68.5 million, or 75 cents a share, down from year-ago earnings of $74 million, or 81 cents. "ATO continues to trade at a discount to peers (albeit somewhat less so), which we see as justified by headwinds at ATO's Nonregulated segments and uncertainty around pending rate cases at some of ATO's jurisdictions," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a Feb. 9 report. "That said, ATO plans to increase growth capital spending, which may allow ATO to grow its rate base at a somewhat accelerated annual growth rate of 6-6.5% going forward (up from 4-4.5% historical growth)." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 4.3% Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's first-quarter gross profit margin was basically the same as the prior year. Atmos Energy has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.49, which shows a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs. In the first quarter, stockholders' net worth was basically the same as the prior year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $38.45. The stock closed Tuesday at $32.09 and has dropped 3.78% year to date.