South Jersey Industries (NYSE: SJI) is one of 16 publicly-traded companies in the “Natural Gas Distribution” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its peers? We will compare South Jersey Industries to similar companies based on the strength of its profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, risk and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares South Jersey Industries and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
South Jersey Industries 3.13% 7.16% 2.44%
South Jersey Industries Competitors 4.40% -9.37% 3.20%

Volatility and Risk

South Jersey Industries has a beta of 0.72, meaning that its stock price is 28% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, South Jersey Industries’ peers have a beta of 0.42, meaning that their average stock price is 58% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

69.9% of South Jersey Industries shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.4% of shares of all “Natural Gas Distribution” companies are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of South Jersey Industries shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.2% of shares of all “Natural Gas Distribution” companies are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares South Jersey Industries and its peers revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
South Jersey Industries $1.04 billion $118.81 million 67.17
South Jersey Industries Competitors $2.04 billion $171.22 million 17.65

South Jersey Industries’ peers have higher revenue and earnings than South Jersey Industries. South Jersey Industries is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for South Jersey Industries and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
South Jersey Industries 0 4 3 0 2.43
South Jersey Industries Competitors 56 204 215 5 2.35

South Jersey Industries currently has a consensus price target of $38.00, suggesting a potential upside of 17.87%. As a group, “Natural Gas Distribution” companies have a potential downside of 2.91%. Given South Jersey Industries’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe South Jersey Industries is more favorable than its peers.

Dividends

South Jersey Industries pays an annual dividend of $1.09 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.4%. South Jersey Industries pays out 227.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. As a group, “Natural Gas Distribution” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.4% and pay out 62.2% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

South Jersey Industries peers beat South Jersey Industries on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

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.

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