South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $29.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

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. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. Maxim Group reduced their price objective on South Jersey Industries from $40.00 to $36.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 28th. Wells Fargo & Co dropped their price objective on South Jersey Industries from $29.00 to $26.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, May 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on South Jersey Industries from $25.00 to $24.00 and set an underweight rating for the company in a research note on Friday, May 15th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. South Jersey Industries presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $29.83.

NYSE SJI opened at $27.04 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $2.54 billion, a PE ratio of 24.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.80. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $26.30 and its 200-day simple moving average is $29.28. South Jersey Industries has a 1-year low of $19.62 and a 1-year high of $34.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.38, a current ratio of 0.30 and a quick ratio of 0.27.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, May 6th. The utilities provider reported $1.15 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.03. South Jersey Industries had a return on equity of 7.31% and a net margin of 6.05%. The business had revenue of $534.11 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $598.28 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.09 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 16.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that South Jersey Industries will post 1.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 2nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 10th will be issued a $0.295 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 9th. This represents a $1.18 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.36%. South Jersey Industries’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 105.36%.

In related news, Director Sheila Hartnett-Devlin sold 7,200 shares of South Jersey Industries stock in a transaction on Monday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.13, for a total value of $195,336.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SJI. Harbor Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new position in South Jersey Industries in the first quarter valued at $26,000. Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. purchased a new stake in South Jersey Industries during the 4th quarter worth about $34,000. NewSquare Capital LLC purchased a new stake in South Jersey Industries during the 1st quarter worth about $36,000. CFM Wealth Partners LLC purchased a new stake in South Jersey Industries during the 4th quarter worth about $40,000. Finally, Citizens Financial Group Inc RI purchased a new stake in South Jersey Industries during the 4th quarter worth about $51,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.72% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI)

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