Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of NewJersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “New Jersey Resources Corporation, an energy services holding company, provides regulated gas distribution, and retail and wholesale energy services. The Natural Gas Distribution segment offers regulated retail natural gas services to approximately 521,200 residential and commercial customers in central and northern New Jersey; provides storage management services The Clean Energy Ventures segment invests in commercial and residential solar projects located in New Jersey; and onshore wind projects in Montana, Iowa, Kansas, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania. The Energy Services segment provides unregulated wholesale energy management services to other energy companies and natural gas producers. The Midstream segment invests in natural gas transportation and storage facilities. The Home Services and Other segment offer heating, ventilation, and cooling services; holds and develops commercial real estate properties. “

A number of other analysts have also recently issued reports on NJR. Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded NewJersey Resources from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, November 22nd. ValuEngine cut NewJersey Resources from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Guggenheim restated a buy rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of NewJersey Resources in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, TheStreet cut NewJersey Resources from a b rating to a c+ rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $44.00.

Shares of NewJersey Resources (NJR) opened at $37.90 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.81. NewJersey Resources has a fifty-two week low of $35.55 and a fifty-two week high of $45.45. The stock has a market capitalization of $3,175.31, a PE ratio of 14.92, a PEG ratio of 2.32 and a beta of 0.33.

NewJersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The utilities provider reported $1.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.97. NewJersey Resources had a return on equity of 19.25% and a net margin of 9.08%. The business had revenue of $705.31 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $564.47 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.47 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 30.4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that NewJersey Resources will post 2.6 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 2nd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a $0.2725 dividend. This represents a $1.09 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.88%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. NewJersey Resources’s dividend payout ratio is presently 42.91%.

In other NewJersey Resources news, VP Amanda Mullan sold 920 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.64, for a total value of $41,068.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Lawrence R. Codey sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.13, for a total value of $258,780.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 13,266 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $572,162.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its holdings in NewJersey Resources by 59.7% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,251 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $163,000 after acquiring an additional 1,589 shares during the period. Flinton Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of NewJersey Resources by 92.2% during the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 4,336 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $172,000 after buying an additional 2,080 shares during the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of NewJersey Resources during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $185,000. MHI Funds LLC purchased a new position in shares of NewJersey Resources during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $179,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in shares of NewJersey Resources by 54.8% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 4,731 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $190,000 after buying an additional 1,674 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.44% of the company’s stock.

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About NewJersey Resources

New Jersey Resources Corporation is an energy services holding company. The Company’s business is the distribution of natural gas through a regulated utility, which provides other retail and wholesale energy services to customers and investing in clean energy projects and midstream assets. It operates in four business segments: Natural Gas Distribution, Clean Energy Ventures, Energy Services and Midstream.

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