Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “New Jersey Resources Corporation is an energy services holding company that, through its subsidiaries, provides safe and reliable natural gas and clean energy services, including transportation, distribution, asset management and home services. NJR is composed of five primary businesses: New Jersey Natural Gas, NJR’s principal subsidiary, operates and maintains the natural gas transportation and distribution infrastructure to serve the customers. NJR Clean Energy Ventures invests in, owns and operates solar and onshore wind projects. NJR Energy Services manages a diversified portfolio of natural gas transportation and storage assets and provides physical natural gas services and customized energy solutions. NJR Midstream serves customers from local distributors and producers to electric generators and wholesale marketers. NJR Home Services provides service contracts as well as heating, central air conditioning, water heaters, standby generators, solar and other indoor and outdoor comfort products. “

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on NJR. TheStreet lowered New Jersey Resources from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research report on Thursday, October 17th. Guggenheim lowered New Jersey Resources from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 8th.

Shares of New Jersey Resources stock traded up $0.32 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $43.43. 408,900 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 576,755. New Jersey Resources has a 52-week low of $40.32 and a 52-week high of $51.20. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 0.36. The company has a fifty day moving average of $43.18 and a 200-day moving average of $44.01. The company has a current ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84.

New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.76 by ($0.32). The firm had revenue of $615.04 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $853.00 million. New Jersey Resources had a return on equity of 9.89% and a net margin of 7.21%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 24.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.61 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that New Jersey Resources will post 2.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 17th will be given a $0.313 dividend. This represents a $1.25 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.88%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 16th. New Jersey Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 64.10%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of NJR. CWM LLC raised its position in shares of New Jersey Resources by 2,317.4% in the 3rd quarter. CWM LLC now owns 556 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $25,000 after buying an additional 533 shares during the period. AllSquare Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in New Jersey Resources in the third quarter valued at about $36,000. Raab & Moskowitz Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in New Jersey Resources in the fourth quarter valued at about $50,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. raised its position in New Jersey Resources by 239.0% in the fourth quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 1,312 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $58,000 after purchasing an additional 925 shares during the period. Finally, Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. purchased a new position in New Jersey Resources in the fourth quarter valued at about $80,000. 68.45% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About New Jersey Resources

New Jersey Resources Corporation, an energy services holding company, provides regulated gas distribution, and retail and wholesale energy services. The company operates through four segments: Natural Gas Distribution, Clean Energy Ventures, Energy Services, and Midstream segments. The Natural Gas Distribution segment offers regulated retail natural gas services to approximately 538,700 residential and commercial customers in central and northern New Jersey; provides storage management services; and participates in the off-system sales and capacity release markets.

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