WA Business News  Jul 25  Comment 
ATO clamps down on company car use
WA Business News  Jul 12  Comment 
A 65-year-old Geraldton woman has been handed a suspended prison sentence after failing to lodge tax documents dating back to 2008.
WA Business News  Jun 26  Comment 
ATO hunts down multinational companies for $2.7bn
WA Business News  Jun 22  Comment 
Perth investor Andrew Hopkins’ planned $508 million buyout of national panel beating business AMA Group has been cancelled after the group failed to get an expected ruling from the Australian Taxation Office.
WA Business News  Jun 22  Comment 
guardian.co.uk  Jun 20  Comment 
A school principal is an odd occupation to pick as being somehow representative of ordinary Australians The tax cut debate, as expected, has led to an absolute mountain of manure designed to mislead about who is going to benefit. Data on personal...
Yahoo  Jun 6  Comment 
Atmos Energy Corporation (NYSE:ATO) has pleased shareholders over the past 10 years, paying out an average dividend of 4.00% annually. The stock currently pays out a dividend yield of 2.22%,Read More...


Atmos Energy is the largest gas utilities company in the U.S. The company operates gas utilities in 12 states: Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Colorado, Kansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Virginia, though it has more customers in Texas than in the other 11 states combined. In total, the company has over 3 million customers.[1]

As a utilities operator, Atmos' businesses are subject to government price regulations, which vary from state to state. These regulations put a ceiling on the price that utilities companies can charge customers, as well as on the returns a company is allowed to gain from its holdings. Regulation is designed to ensure that utilities services are accessible but can still turn a profit, but they don't allow utilities like Atmos to pass cost fluctuations on to consumers as quickly as they occur. Utilities companies can lobby and negotiate with regulators to gain more favorable rules, but unfortunately for Atmos, the company's main operating areas are in Texas, where regulations are strict.

Volatile natural gas costs can make Atmos's margins unpredictable, since the company's costs change while regulations keep prices fixed. The weather also plays a large part in demand for natural gas, which is used for heating, so unseasonable weather patterns can lead to demand fluctuations as well. Fortunately for Atmos, the company operates one of the largest pipelines in Texas, with links to major oil and gas reserves like the Barnett Shale. The production business insulates the company against the effects of good weather and fluctuating gas use on its utilities segment. Atmos doesn't have any real competition in its service areas, but the company competes on a large scale with other utilities companies like AGL Resources.

Company Overview

Atmos energy is a holding company engaged in the transportation, storage, marketing, and distribution of natural gas; its gas utilities business is the largest in the U.S., operating in 12 states and serving over 3.1 million customers.[1]

Business Financials

In 2009, ATO earned a total of $5.0 billion in total revenues. This was a substantial decrease from its 2008 total revenues of $7.2 billion. Despite the decline in total revenues, ATO was still able to increase its net income. Between 2008 and 2009, ATO's net income increased from $180 million in 2008 to $191 million in 2009.[2]

Modern Gas Utilities Pay Lower Dividends

In the past, utilities paid high dividends because stringent government regulation kept them from having much growth potential. This made them very sensitive to short-term interest rates, as higher interest rates made government bonds more attractive as investments; more people investing in government bonds meant less people buying utilities stock, causing shares to fall. Now, however, the combination of deregulation and the diversification of gas utilities into energy trading, generation, and other businesses mean that the companies have greater growth potential and less exposure to interest rate effects. Now, though utilities still pay dividends, these are lower than in the past - because utilities companies now have a chance for strong share growth, so high dividends are no longer necessary to serve shareholder interests.[3][4]

I think Get a capital one creidt card with a small creidt limit so you don't get in trouble. Its working for me! Just fallow these guide lines and it will lead you to a better creidt score. It just takes time and responsibility. Also I would get a free creidt report at freecreditreport.com they give a summary of what your creidt score means and how you can bring it up. What factors raise your Score:You've paid your bills on time and currently do not have any overdue accounts or derogatory information, such as a collection, charge-off, or bankruptcy, on your report. You can be proud of the fact that you are helping yourself maintain a good creidt score, so continue with the positive creidt behavior! You have no open installment loans, such as auto loans, on your creidt report. This positively influences your creidt score because lenders feel you are more likely to pay your other bills without the fixed monthly payment attached to an installment loan. Your creidt report does not contain negative public records, such as a bankruptcy, lien, lawsuit or judgment filed within the last two years. This is having a positive impact on your creidt score. Although public record items may remain on your creidt report for seven to 15 years, depending on the item, an important piece of your creidt history is paying your bills on time, every time.


Atmos operates in Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Colorado, Kansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Virginia. It is not only a gas utility but also a natural gas marketing, pipeline, and storage company. In the markets it serves, the company has little real competition thanks to the high cost of infrastructure installation; government regulation, however, keeps the company from charging the rates and turning the profits that would otherwise be expected of a monopolist that sells products with inelastic demand. On a larger scale, Atmos competes with other gas utilities like:

  • AGL Resources - AGL Resources operates its gas delivery services in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Virginia.
  • Energen - Energen is an energy holding company that operates in a variety of businesses, from oil exploration and production to natural gas marketing and distribution. Its utilities business is the largest gas distributor in Alabama.
  • Equitable Resources - Equitable Resources is a vertically integrated natural gas company that operates from the upstream to natural gas distribution. Its gas utilities operate in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
  • National Fuel Gas Company - NFG is a diversified natural gas company that does exploration, production, transportation, marketing, and distribution of gas; its utilities segment operates in New York and Pennsylvania.
  • ONEOK - ONEOK is a transport and distribution company that acts as a utility in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas.
  • Sempra Energy - Sempra is a gas and electric utilities company in California.
  • Southern Union Company - Southern Union is engaged in the storage, transport, production, and refining of [[natural gas; its utilities business operates in Missouri and Massachusetts.
  • National Grid Transco - National Grid is a gas and [[utilities company that operates in the United Kingdom and the United State; in the U.S., it operates in Rhode Island and New York.


  1. 1.0 1.1 ATO 10-K 2009 Item 1 Pg. 4
  2. ATO 10-K 2009 Item 6 Pg. 34
  3. Business Week: "Utility Stocks With Plenty of Spark"
  4. USA Today: "Utilities funds turn into power players"
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