South Jersey Industries Inc. (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 Tuesday. The firm presently has a $38.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 15.68% from the stock’s current price.

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. “

SJI has been the topic of several other reports. Williams Capital lowered South Jersey Industries from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $33.00 to $34.00 in a research report on Wednesday, November 23rd. Morgan Stanley began coverage on South Jersey Industries in a research report on Thursday, September 8th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $32.00 price target on the stock. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $33.67.

Analyst Recommendations for South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI)

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) opened at 33.61 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $29.87 and its 200 day moving average price is $30.07. The company has a market cap of $2.66 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.14 and a beta of 0.58. South Jersey Industries has a 1-year low of $21.24 and a 1-year high of $33.61.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 9th will be paid a $0.273 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 7th. This represents a $1.09 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.32%. This is a boost from South Jersey Industries’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.26. South Jersey Industries’s payout ratio is currently 60.34%.

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Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SJI. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. acquired a new position in South Jersey Industries during the second quarter valued at $49,327,000. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. acquired a new position in South Jersey Industries during the second quarter valued at $20,293,000. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can boosted its position in South Jersey Industries by 6.9% in the third quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 107,661 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,180,000 after buying an additional 6,914 shares in the last quarter. Moody Aldrich Partners LLC boosted its position in South Jersey Industries by 200.1% in the second quarter. Moody Aldrich Partners LLC now owns 56,450 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,785,000 after buying an additional 37,640 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in South Jersey Industries by 17.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,624,667 shares of the company’s stock valued at $209,472,000 after buying an additional 980,710 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.04% of the company’s stock.

About South Jersey Industries

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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