New Jersey Resources (NJR) Stock Price Down 5.6% Following Weak Earnings

New Jersey Resources Corp (NYSE:NJR)’s share price fell 5.6% during mid-day trading on Wednesday following a weaker than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as low as $44.88 and last traded at $45.26. 1,120,126 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 128% from the average session volume of 491,741 shares. The stock had previously closed at $47.95.

The utilities provider reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by ($0.08). New Jersey Resources had a return on equity of 16.92% and a net margin of 8.01%. The company had revenue of $811.77 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $712.00 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.56 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 15.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 1st. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th will be issued a $0.2925 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $1.17 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.59%. New Jersey Resources’s payout ratio is currently 42.70%.

A number of analysts recently commented on NJR shares. Guggenheim downgraded shares of New Jersey Resources from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, January 7th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of New Jersey Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 22nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. New Jersey Resources has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $48.00.

In other news, Director M William Howard, Jr. sold 1,000 shares of New Jersey Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.91, for a total value of $47,910.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Over the last three months, insiders sold 3,000 shares of company stock worth $138,080. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Virtu Financial LLC purchased a new position in New Jersey Resources during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $325,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its position in New Jersey Resources by 46.9% in the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 71,693 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,303,000 after acquiring an additional 22,904 shares in the last quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC grew its position in New Jersey Resources by 10.0% in the third quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC now owns 12,997 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $603,000 after acquiring an additional 1,182 shares in the last quarter. Man Group plc grew its position in New Jersey Resources by 364.5% in the third quarter. Man Group plc now owns 397,584 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $18,329,000 after acquiring an additional 311,985 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nachman Norwood & Parrott Inc bought a new stake in New Jersey Resources in the fourth quarter worth approximately $421,000. 65.90% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.76 and a current ratio of 1.03. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.52, a P/E/G ratio of 3.36 and a beta of 0.32.

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New Jersey Resources Company Profile (NYSE:NJR)

New Jersey Resources Corporation, an energy services holding company, provides regulated gas distribution, and retail and wholesale energy services. The company operates through four segments: Natural Gas Distribution, Clean Energy Ventures, Energy Services, and Midstream segments. The Natural Gas Distribution segment offers regulated retail natural gas services to approximately 538,700 residential and commercial customers in central and northern New Jersey; provides storage management services; and participates in the off-system sales and capacity release markets.

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