South Jersey Industries (NYSE: SJI) and UGI Corporation (NYSE:UGI) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, profitability and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for South Jersey Industries and UGI Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
South Jersey Industries 0 4 2 0 2.33
UGI Corporation 1 1 1 0 2.00

South Jersey Industries currently has a consensus price target of $38.67, indicating a potential upside of 12.86%. UGI Corporation has a consensus price target of $46.00, indicating a potential downside of 2.25%. Given South Jersey Industries’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe South Jersey Industries is more favorable than UGI Corporation.

Volatility and Risk

South Jersey Industries has a beta of 0.77, indicating that its stock price is 23% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, UGI Corporation has a beta of 0.69, indicating that its stock price is 31% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

South Jersey Industries pays an annual dividend of $1.09 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. UGI Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. South Jersey Industries pays out 101.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. UGI Corporation pays out 45.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. South Jersey Industries has increased its dividend for 31 consecutive years. South Jersey Industries is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares South Jersey Industries and UGI Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
South Jersey Industries 7.02% 7.71% 2.68%
UGI Corporation 6.48% 10.44% 3.54%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

69.5% of South Jersey Industries shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 77.6% of UGI Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of South Jersey Industries shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.2% of UGI Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares South Jersey Industries and UGI Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
South Jersey Industries $1.22 billion 2.23 $261.72 million $1.07 32.02
UGI Corporation $5.98 billion 1.36 $1.35 billion $2.18 21.59

UGI Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than South Jersey Industries. UGI Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than South Jersey Industries, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

South Jersey Industries beats UGI Corporation on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

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 (Midstream). Its segments include Gas utility operations (SJG), which consist primarily of natural gas distribution; Wholesale energy operations, which include the activities of SJRG and SJEX; SJE, which is involved in both retail gas and retail electric activities; On-Site energy production, which consists of Marina’s thermal energy facility; Appliance service operations, which include SJESP, and Corporate and Services segment, which includes the activities of Midstream.

About UGI Corporation

UGI Corporation is a holding company. The Company distributes, stores, transports and markets energy products and related services. It operates through six segments. The AmeriGas Propane segment consists of the propane distribution business of AmeriGas Partners, L.P. The UGI France segment consists of the French LPG distribution business of its subsidiaries, Antargaz, Finagaz and its liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) distribution businesses. The Flaga & Other segment consists of the LPG distribution businesses of Flaga GmbH, AvantiGas Limited and ChinaGas Partners, L.P. The Energy Services segment consists of energy-related businesses conducted by its subsidiary, UGI Energy Services, LLC (Energy Services). The Electric Generation segment consists of electric generation facilities conducted by Energy Services’ subsidiary. The Gas Utility segment consists of the regulated natural gas distribution businesses of its subsidiary, UGI Utilities, Inc.

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