Zacks Investment Research cut shares of South Jersey Industries Inc. (NYSE:SJI) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “South Jersey Inds Inc. is engaged in the business of operating, through subsidiaries, various business enterprises. The company’s most significant subsidiary is South Jersey Gas Company (SJG). SJG is a public utility company engaged in the purchase, transmission and sale of natural gas for residential, commercial and industrial use. SJG also makes off-system sales of natural gas on a wholesale basis to various customers on the interstate pipeline system and transports natural gas. “

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. Morgan Stanley began coverage on South Jersey Industries in a research report on Thursday, September 8th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $32.00 price objective for the company. Janney Montgomery Scott lowered South Jersey Industries from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on South Jersey Industries in a research report on Tuesday, June 14th. They issued a neutral rating and a $31.00 price objective for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $32.50.

Analyst Recommendations for South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI)

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) traded up 1.36% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $28.28. 42,917 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $2.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.96 and a beta of 0.70. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $29.36 and its 200-day moving average price is $29.53. South Jersey Industries has a 1-year low of $21.24 and a 1-year high of $32.03.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 5th. The company reported $0.12 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.14 by $0.02. The company earned $154.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $177.83 million. South Jersey Industries had a net margin of 11.45% and a return on equity of 9.56%. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.03 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that South Jersey Industries will post $1.30 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 4th. Investors of record on Friday, September 9th were paid a $0.2638 dividend. This represents a $1.06 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.78%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 7th. South Jersey Industries’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 72.92%.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its stake in South Jersey Industries by 3.2% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 4,054 shares of the company’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 127 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in South Jersey Industries by 0.3% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 57,550 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,820,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the period. Symons Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in South Jersey Industries by 1.7% in the second quarter. Symons Capital Management Inc. now owns 11,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $351,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the period. CIBC Asset Management Inc boosted its stake in South Jersey Industries by 7.9% in the second quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 8,914 shares of the company’s stock worth $282,000 after buying an additional 655 shares during the period. Finally, BLB&B Advisors LLC boosted its stake in South Jersey Industries by 3.0% in the second quarter. BLB&B Advisors LLC now owns 25,570 shares of the company’s stock worth $809,000 after buying an additional 740 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.67% of the company’s stock.

South Jersey Industries Company Profile

South Jersey Industries, Inc (SJI) is an energy services holding company. The Company provides a range of energy-related products and services, primarily through its subsidiaries. Its subsidiaries include South Jersey Gas Company (SJG), South Jersey Energy Company (SJE), South Jersey Resources Group, LLC (SJRG), South Jersey Exploration, LLC (SJEX), Marina Energy, LLC (Marina), South Jersey Energy Service Plus, LLC (SJESP) and SJI Midstream, LLC.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SJI

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