South Jersey Industries (SJI) Hits New 1-Year Low After Analyst Downgrade

South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE:SJI) shares hit a new 52-week low during mid-day trading on Wednesday after Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on the stock from $35.00 to $30.00. Morgan Stanley currently has an equal weight rating on the stock. South Jersey Industries traded as low as $26.40 and last traded at $26.40, with a volume of 177925 shares. The stock had previously closed at $26.73.

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on SJI. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of South Jersey Industries from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their target price on shares of South Jersey Industries from $35.00 to $31.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 25th. Williams Capital upgraded shares of South Jersey Industries from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $36.00 to $37.00 in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Sidoti cut shares of South Jersey Industries from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $34.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, January 8th. Finally, Guggenheim restated a “hold” rating and issued a $32.00 target price on shares of South Jersey Industries in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. South Jersey Industries currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $34.00.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in South Jersey Industries by 3.0% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,184,899 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $318,072,000 after acquiring an additional 294,094 shares during the period. Earnest Partners LLC lifted its stake in South Jersey Industries by 1.5% in the third quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 2,156,631 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $74,468,000 after acquiring an additional 32,184 shares during the period. State Street Corp lifted its stake in South Jersey Industries by 4.5% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,045,454 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $69,891,000 after acquiring an additional 88,677 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its stake in South Jersey Industries by 9.4% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,907,795 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $65,876,000 after acquiring an additional 164,517 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in South Jersey Industries by 1.8% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,555,260 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $53,704,000 after acquiring an additional 28,053 shares during the period. 69.52% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

The stock has a market capitalization of $2,178.05, a P/E ratio of 23.81, a P/E/G ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 0.47 and a quick ratio of 0.38.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 3rd. Investors of record on Monday, March 19th will be paid a $0.28 dividend. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.24%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 16th. South Jersey Industries’s payout ratio is 233.34%.

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South Jersey Industries Company Profile

South Jersey Industries, Inc (SJI) is an energy services holding company. The Company provides a range of energy-related products and services, primarily through its subsidiaries. Its subsidiaries include South Jersey Gas Company (SJG), South Jersey Energy Company (SJE), South Jersey Resources Group, LLC (SJRG), South Jersey Exploration, LLC (SJEX), Marina Energy, LLC (Marina), South Jersey Energy Service Plus, LLC (SJESP) and SJI Midstream, LLC (Midstream).

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