South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE:SJI) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest during the month of 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. Approximately 5.9% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 713,013 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 5.7 days.
A number of equities analysts have weighed in on SJI shares. Sidoti downgraded South Jersey Industries from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $34.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $32.00 price target on shares of South Jersey Industries in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. TheStreet downgraded South Jersey Industries from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on South Jersey Industries from $40.00 to $37.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price objective on South Jersey Industries from $35.00 to $31.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, January 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $32.33.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in South Jersey Industries by 9.4% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,907,795 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $65,876,000 after purchasing an additional 164,517 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its holdings in South Jersey Industries by 4.5% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 184,596 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,375,000 after purchasing an additional 7,943 shares during the last quarter. Miles Capital Inc. acquired a new stake in South Jersey Industries during the 4th quarter valued at $310,000. Peregrine Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in South Jersey Industries during the 4th quarter valued at $5,915,000. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers lifted its holdings in South Jersey Industries by 14.5% during the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 196,774 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,145,000 after purchasing an additional 24,991 shares during the last quarter. 70.56% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of South Jersey Industries (SJI) opened at $28.04 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $2,232.65, a P/E ratio of -560.80, a PEG ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.67. The company has a quick ratio of 0.44, a current ratio of 0.50 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94. South Jersey Industries has a twelve month low of $25.96 and a twelve month high of $38.40.
South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 22nd. The utilities provider reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $345.74 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $336.19 million. South Jersey Industries had a positive return on equity of 7.84% and a negative net margin of 0.28%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.42 EPS. analysts forecast that South Jersey Industries will post 1.58 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 3rd. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 19th will be issued a $0.28 dividend. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.99%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 16th. South Jersey Industries’s payout ratio is presently -2,240.00%.
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About South Jersey Industries
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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