South Jersey Industries (SJI) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

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 brokerages also recently issued reports on SJI. Maxim Group began coverage on South Jersey Industries in a research report on Tuesday, April 16th. They set a buy rating and a $40.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded South Jersey Industries from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $34.71.

Shares of SJI stock opened at $31.38 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $2.90 billion, a PE ratio of 22.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.04 and a beta of 0.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66, a quick ratio of 0.38 and a current ratio of 0.42. South Jersey Industries has a 12-month low of $26.06 and a 12-month high of $36.72.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 27th. The utilities provider reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.51 by ($0.12). The business had revenue of $521.95 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $442.00 million. South Jersey Industries had a return on equity of 10.13% and a net margin of 1.08%. On average, analysts predict that South Jersey Industries will post 1.08 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 2nd. Investors of record on Monday, March 18th were given a $0.2875 dividend. This represents a $1.15 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.66%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 15th. South Jersey Industries’s payout ratio is 83.33%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group increased its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 71.3% in the 4th quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 990 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $28,000 after acquiring an additional 412 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund acquired a new position in shares of South Jersey Industries in the 4th quarter valued at $33,000. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 40.1% in the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 4,435 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $124,000 after acquiring an additional 1,269 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 16.7% in the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 5,888 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $164,000 after acquiring an additional 841 shares during the period. Finally, Strs Ohio increased its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 14.3% in the 1st quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 7,200 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $230,000 after acquiring an additional 900 shares during the period. 78.93% 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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