South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) Stock Price Up 8.8%

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South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE:SJI) shares rose 8.8% during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $22.21 and last traded at $24.06, approximately 45,925 shares were traded during trading. A decline of 97% from the average daily volume of 1,413,795 shares. The stock had previously closed at $22.11.

SJI has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Co decreased their price target on South Jersey Industries from $32.00 to $29.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, March 2nd. Maxim Group decreased their price target on South Jersey Industries from $40.00 to $36.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, February 28th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded South Jersey Industries from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $31.00 to $29.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 8th. Morgan Stanley downgraded South Jersey Industries from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $31.00 to $29.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded South Jersey Industries from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, March 13th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. South Jersey Industries presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $32.33.

The company has a market cap of $2.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.13, a P/E/G ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 0.81. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $28.61 and a 200-day moving average price of $30.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.45, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a current ratio of 0.38.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 27th. The utilities provider reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.01. South Jersey Industries had a return on equity of 6.80% and a net margin of 4.72%. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that South Jersey Industries Inc will post 1.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 2nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 18th will be given a dividend of $0.295 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 17th. This represents a $1.18 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.59%. South Jersey Industries’s dividend payout ratio is presently 105.36%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SJI. Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. acquired a new position in shares of South Jersey Industries during the 4th quarter worth about $34,000. CFM Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of South Jersey Industries during the 4th quarter worth about $40,000. Citizens Financial Group Inc RI acquired a new position in shares of South Jersey Industries during the 4th quarter worth about $51,000. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its holdings in South Jersey Industries by 43.0% in the 4th quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,702 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $56,000 after acquiring an additional 512 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. acquired a new position in South Jersey Industries in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $62,000. 84.36% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI)

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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