South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE:SJI) Receives Average Rating of “Buy” from Analysts

South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE:SJI) has received an average recommendation of “Buy” from the nine analysts that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12-month price objective among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $35.00.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley set a $31.00 price target on South Jersey Industries and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 16th. ValuEngine raised South Jersey Industries from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, May 13th. Zacks Investment Research raised South Jersey Industries from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Maxim Group assumed coverage on South Jersey Industries in a research report on Tuesday, April 16th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $40.00 price target on the stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SJI. Channing Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of South Jersey Industries during the 4th quarter worth about $35,879,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 7.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,772,758 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $441,692,000 after acquiring an additional 1,007,120 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 28.4% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,543,958 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $145,724,000 after acquiring an additional 1,003,949 shares in the last quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. raised its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 200.3% during the 1st quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 1,388,747 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $44,537,000 after acquiring an additional 926,264 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund acquired a new stake in shares of South Jersey Industries during the 4th quarter worth about $33,000. 82.94% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

South Jersey Industries stock traded up $0.20 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $31.85. 849,807 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 643,301. South Jersey Industries has a 12-month low of $26.06 and a 12-month high of $36.72. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.08, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.08 and a beta of 0.73. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40, a current ratio of 0.43 and a quick ratio of 0.41.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, May 8th. The utilities provider reported $1.09 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by $0.14. South Jersey Industries had a return on equity of 8.66% and a net margin of 3.40%. The company had revenue of $637.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $571.00 million. Equities research analysts anticipate that South Jersey Industries will post 1.1 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 2nd. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 10th will be given a dividend of $0.2875 per share. This represents a $1.15 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.61%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 7th. South Jersey Industries’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 83.33%.

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.

Featured Story: Liquidity

Analyst Recommendations for South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI)

Receive News & Ratings for South Jersey Industries Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for South Jersey Industries and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.