Zacks Investment Research Upgrades South Jersey Industries (SJI) to “Buy”

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South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $40.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 16.45% from the stock’s current price.

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. “

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on shares of South Jersey Industries from $32.00 to $33.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of South Jersey Industries from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $34.00 to $38.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. TheStreet lowered shares of South Jersey Industries from a “b+” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Thursday, August 9th. Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of South Jersey Industries in a report on Monday, July 30th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $34.00 target price on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of South Jersey Industries from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. South Jersey Industries currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $36.00.

SJI stock opened at $34.35 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.67, a PEG ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.49. The company has a current ratio of 1.15, a quick ratio of 1.12 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08. South Jersey Industries has a 12-month low of $25.96 and a 12-month high of $36.72.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $227.33 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $254.54 million. South Jersey Industries had a negative net margin of 1.22% and a positive return on equity of 11.36%. South Jersey Industries’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.06 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that South Jersey Industries will post 1.6 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Sunita Holzer acquired 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 27th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $32.88 per share, for a total transaction of $49,320.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 25,866 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $850,474.08. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.64% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in SJI. US Bancorp DE raised its holdings in shares of South Jersey Industries by 90.1% in the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 3,729 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $125,000 after acquiring an additional 1,767 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in shares of South Jersey Industries in the 2nd quarter worth about $125,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of South Jersey Industries in the 1st quarter worth about $112,000. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of South Jersey Industries in the 2nd quarter worth about $141,000. Finally, Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of South Jersey Industries in the 1st quarter worth about $148,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.10% of the company’s stock.

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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