Atlas Energy Group, LLC (OTCMKTS:ATLS) Stock Continues to Plummet After Last Month’s Sell-Off

Last month’s crushing sell-off of Atlas Energy Group, LLC (OTCMKTS:ATLS) sees the stock’s value continuing to plummet more than two weeks out.

A brutal sell-off of Atlas Energy Group on Wednesday saw shares fall more than 42%. The sell-off comes a day after the stock rallied more than 19% on news that hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman had purchased 1,277,162 shares. The purchase was disclosed in a Form 4 Filing with the SEC. The stock hit a quarterly high during Tuesday’s trading session.

Of course, Atlas Energy Group is at the center of the controversy tied to Cooperman.

The Securities Exchange Commission will embark into new terrain on insider trading prosecution as it prepares for a courtroom showdown with Cooperman, the leader of Omega Advisors. The hedge fund manager is facing insider trading charges tied to information he acquired on Atlas Partners. (For more, see: Omega Drops Stake in Apple, Makes Bet on Citigroup.)

The SEC alleges that Cooperman accessed illegal and non-public information tied to a firm called Atlas Pipeline Partners. The firm would later be part of a merger between Atlas Energy and the midstream oil and gas subsidiary to form Atlas Energy Group.

The SEC claims that Cooperman used information about Atlas Pipeline’s sale of a natural gas plan in Oklahoma to purchase the stock. Once the information about the sale went public, Cooperman’s stock increased by one-third in value, according to the complaint. The SEC says that Cooperman later attempted to cover up his trade and concocted a fake story about the trade and access to non-public material after he received a subpoena.

This case is unique for two reasons. First, the Federal government is bringing a civil case against Cooperman. That requires a lower standard of proof for conviction than the criminal alternative. (For more, see: Defining Illegal Insider Trading.)

Second, the government has been able to avoid a 2014 rule that makes it harder for government watchdogs to convict individuals for insider trading. This controversial decision ruled that the government must prove the person who offers insider information receives some level of financial benefit from their actions. In the case of Cooperman, the U.S. government has alleged that the hedge fund manager stole information. This would mean that there was no source of information except for Cooperman.

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Shares of Atlas Energy Group, LLC (OTCMKTS:ATLS) are actively moving -10.06% thus far today on the news and have traded in the range of $1.34 – 1.61 during the session.  A number of research firms have recently weighed in on the stock, providing future price targets. The covering firms currently have a consensus one-year price target of $40.00 on the stock.  This is according to brokerage analysts polled by Thomson Reuters First Call.  This is the average number from the individual targets provided by the firms.  Analysts are projecting earnings per share of $0.00 for the next fiscal quarter.  For the current year, analysts are predicting earnings of $0.42 per share according to First Call.

In looking at where the stock is trading on a technical level, the stock is trading +62.92% away from its 50-day moving average of $0.88.  Based on the most recent available data, the equity is -42.57% off of its 52-week high of $2.49 and +1301.96% away from its 52-week low which is $0.10.

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Today, the stock opened at $1.59 and the last bid at the time of writing stood at $1.43.  During the session thus far, the equity dipped down to $1.34 and touched $1.61 as the high point.  Atlas Energy Group, LLC (OTCMKTS:ATLS) has a market cap of $37.23M and has seen an average daily volume of 273571 over the past three months.

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