ValuEngine upgraded shares of South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on SJI. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of South Jersey Industries from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, October 25th. Williams Capital decreased their price objective on shares of South Jersey Industries from $39.00 to $36.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a market perform rating and issued a $31.00 price objective on shares of South Jersey Industries in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th. Morgan Stanley set a $36.00 price objective on shares of South Jersey Industries and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of South Jersey Industries from a b+ rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $34.75.

SJI opened at $31.83 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.30, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04. South Jersey Industries has a fifty-two week low of $25.96 and a fifty-two week high of $36.72. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.71 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 0.70.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported ($0.27) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.25) by ($0.02). South Jersey Industries had a positive return on equity of 9.79% and a negative net margin of 1.73%. The business had revenue of $302.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $242.21 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned ($0.05) EPS. The company’s revenue was up 33.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that South Jersey Industries will post 1.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 27th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.2875 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 7th. This represents a $1.15 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.61%. This is a positive change from South Jersey Industries’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. South Jersey Industries’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 91.06%.

In related news, Director Sunita Holzer purchased 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 27th. The stock was bought at an average price of $32.88 per share, for a total transaction of $49,320.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 25,866 shares in the company, valued at approximately $850,474.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Michael J. Renna purchased 3,220 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 15th. The shares were bought at an average price of $30.82 per share, with a total value of $99,240.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 0.64% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SJI. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in South Jersey Industries by 79.9% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,725,457 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $124,692,000 after buying an additional 1,655,127 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA bought a new position in South Jersey Industries in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $51,568,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in South Jersey Industries by 14.7% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,859,599 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $396,941,000 after buying an additional 1,523,108 shares during the period. William Blair Investment Management LLC bought a new position in South Jersey Industries in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $17,716,000. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in South Jersey Industries by 24.1% in the 3rd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 2,276,089 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $80,278,000 after buying an additional 441,998 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 85.87% of the company’s stock.

About South Jersey Industries

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.

See Also: Cost of equity and a company’s balance sheet

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Analyst Recommendations for South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI)

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