South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE:SJI) hit a new 52-week low on Thursday after Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on the stock from $40.00 to $37.00. Morgan Stanley currently has an equal weight rating on the stock. South Jersey Industries traded as low as $31.37 and last traded at $32.17, with a volume of 233700 shares. The stock had previously closed at $32.14.

Several other research firms also recently commented on SJI. Zacks Investment Research raised South Jersey Industries from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. Williams Capital raised South Jersey Industries from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $36.00 to $37.00 in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “buy” rating on shares of South Jersey Industries in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. J P Morgan Chase & Co boosted their target price on South Jersey Industries from $32.00 to $35.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded South Jersey Industries from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $37.25.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SJI. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of South Jersey Industries by 49.6% during the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,059,927 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $36,599,000 after purchasing an additional 351,628 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of South Jersey Industries by 41.5% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 974,820 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $33,310,000 after purchasing an additional 286,007 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in shares of South Jersey Industries by 9.4% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,907,795 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $65,876,000 after purchasing an additional 164,517 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its holdings in shares of South Jersey Industries by 8.7% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,665,298 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $56,904,000 after purchasing an additional 133,720 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Phocas Financial Corp. lifted its holdings in shares of South Jersey Industries by 80.8% during the second quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. now owns 272,684 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $9,318,000 after purchasing an additional 121,858 shares in the last quarter. 70.38% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The stock has a market capitalization of $2,556.71, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.95, a PEG ratio of 2.74 and a beta of 0.71. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.38 and a current ratio of 0.47.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The utilities provider reported ($0.05) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.01) by ($0.04). The business had revenue of $227.13 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $222.92 million. South Jersey Industries had a net margin of 3.13% and a return on equity of 7.16%. research analysts forecast that South Jersey Industries, Inc. will post 1.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 27th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 11th will be issued a dividend of $0.28 per share. This is an increase from South Jersey Industries’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.27. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.57%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 8th. South Jersey Industries’s dividend payout ratio is presently 233.34%.

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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).

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