South Jersey Industries (SJI) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

South Jersey Industries (SJI) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “South Jersey Industries, Inc., an energy services holding company based in Folsom, NJ, delivers energy solutions to its customers through three primary subsidiaries. South Jersey Gas delivers safe, reliable, affordable natural gas and promotes energy efficiency to customers in southern New Jersey. SJI’s non-utility businesses within South Jersey Energy Solutions promote efficiency, clean technology and renewable energy by providing customized wholesale commodity marketing and fuel management services; acquiring and marketing natural gas and electricity for retail customers; and developing, owning and operating on-site energy production facilities. SJI Midstream is also an SJI subsidiary and houses the company’s interest in the PennEast Pipeline Project. “

SJI has been the topic of a number of other reports. Williams Capital decreased their price objective on shares of South Jersey Industries from $39.00 to $36.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on shares of South Jersey Industries from $36.00 to $33.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. ValuEngine cut shares of South Jersey Industries from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, November 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of South Jersey Industries from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $34.00 to $38.00 in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reissued a market perform rating and issued a $31.00 price objective on shares of South Jersey Industries in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $33.83.

Shares of SJI traded up $0.26 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $29.08. 23,284 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 527,633. South Jersey Industries has a 52 week low of $25.96 and a 52 week high of $36.72. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.37 billion, a PE ratio of 23.54, a P/E/G ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 0.80. The company has a current ratio of 0.30, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported ($0.27) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.25) by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $302.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $242.21 million. South Jersey Industries had a positive return on equity of 9.79% and a negative net margin of 1.73%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 33.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted ($0.05) earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that South Jersey Industries will post 1.46 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 27th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 10th were paid a dividend of $0.2875 per share. This represents a $1.15 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.95%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 7th. This is a boost from South Jersey Industries’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. South Jersey Industries’s payout ratio is presently 93.50%.

In related news, CEO Michael J. Renna bought 3,270 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 12th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $30.55 per share, with a total value of $99,898.50. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now owns 61,233 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,870,668.15. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman Walter M. Higgins bought 4,546 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 14th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $30.21 per share, for a total transaction of $137,334.66. Following the purchase, the chairman now owns 37,783 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,141,424.43. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have acquired 11,436 shares of company stock worth $347,974. Insiders own 0.64% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. US Bancorp DE grew its stake in shares of South Jersey Industries by 90.1% in the second quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 3,729 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 1,767 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in South Jersey Industries by 14.7% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,859,599 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $396,941,000 after purchasing an additional 1,523,108 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in South Jersey Industries by 11.6% during the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 203,066 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,816,000 after purchasing an additional 21,134 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in South Jersey Industries by 5.9% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,734,879 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $58,068,000 after purchasing an additional 96,020 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Great West Life Assurance Co. Can grew its stake in South Jersey Industries by 4.2% during the 2nd quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 112,767 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,771,000 after purchasing an additional 4,547 shares in the last quarter. 83.30% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

South Jersey Industries Company Profile

South Jersey Industries, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides energy-related products and services. The company engages in the purchase, transmission, and sale of natural gas. It also sells natural gas and pipeline transportation capacity on a wholesale basis to residential, commercial, and industrial customers on the interstate pipeline system, as well as transports natural gas, which is purchased directly from producers or suppliers to their customers.

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