South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE:SJI) Short Interest Up 35.9% in February

South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE:SJI) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 4,064,047 shares, an increase of 35.9% from the February 15th total of 2,989,495 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 713,013 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 5.7 days. Currently, 5.9% of the company’s stock are short sold.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on SJI. Hilliard Lyons cut shares of South Jersey Industries from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, January 22nd. TheStreet cut shares of South Jersey Industries from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of South Jersey Industries from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Saturday, March 10th. Guggenheim reissued a “hold” rating and set a $32.00 price objective on shares of South Jersey Industries in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their target price on shares of South Jersey Industries from $40.00 to $37.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $32.33.

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Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SJI. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its stake in South Jersey Industries by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 3,585 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $122,000 after purchasing an additional 29 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky raised its stake in South Jersey Industries by 2.4% in the 3rd quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 69,032 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,384,000 after purchasing an additional 1,608 shares during the last quarter. Accurate Investment Solutions Inc. raised its stake in South Jersey Industries by 1.9% in the 4th quarter. Accurate Investment Solutions Inc. now owns 103,459 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,231,000 after purchasing an additional 1,941 shares during the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its stake in South Jersey Industries by 6.2% in the 4th quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 34,200 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,068,000 after purchasing an additional 2,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, AMP Capital Investors Ltd raised its stake in South Jersey Industries by 12.3% in the 3rd quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 21,876 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $755,000 after purchasing an additional 2,400 shares during the last quarter. 70.53% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of South Jersey Industries stock traded up $0.41 during trading on Friday, reaching $29.92. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,195,151 shares, compared to its average volume of 599,527. South Jersey Industries has a fifty-two week low of $25.96 and a fifty-two week high of $38.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 0.50 and a quick ratio of 0.44. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,381.48, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.33, a PEG ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 0.59.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 22nd. The utilities provider reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.42 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $345.74 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $336.19 million. South Jersey Industries had a negative net margin of 0.28% and a positive return on equity of 7.84%. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.42 EPS. analysts anticipate that South Jersey Industries will post 1.57 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 3rd. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 19th were paid a dividend of $0.28 per share. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 16th. South Jersey Industries’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 91.06%.

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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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