South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $40.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 16.45% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “South Jersey Industries, Inc., an energy services holding company based in Folsom, NJ, delivers energy solutions to its customers through three primary subsidiaries. South Jersey Gas delivers safe, reliable, affordable natural gas and promotes energy efficiency to customers in southern New Jersey. SJI’s non-utility businesses within South Jersey Energy Solutions promote efficiency, clean technology and renewable energy by providing customized wholesale commodity marketing and fuel management services; acquiring and marketing natural gas and electricity for retail customers; and developing, owning and operating on-site energy production facilities. SJI Midstream is also an SJI subsidiary and houses the company’s interest in the PennEast Pipeline Project. “

SJI has been the subject of several other reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of South Jersey Industries from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $34.00 to $38.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 11th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of South Jersey Industries from $33.00 to $35.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of South Jersey Industries in a research report on Monday, July 30th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $34.00 price objective for the company. ValuEngine upgraded shares of South Jersey Industries from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 20th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of South Jersey Industries from a “b+” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $36.00.

Shares of SJI opened at $34.35 on Thursday. South Jersey Industries has a one year low of $25.96 and a one year high of $36.72. The company has a market cap of $3.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.67, a PEG ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08, a current ratio of 1.15 and a quick ratio of 1.12.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.07 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.03. South Jersey Industries had a negative net margin of 1.22% and a positive return on equity of 11.36%. The business had revenue of $227.33 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $254.54 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.06 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that South Jersey Industries will post 1.6 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Sunita Holzer bought 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 27th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $32.88 per share, with a total value of $49,320.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 25,866 shares in the company, valued at approximately $850,474.08. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.64% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Hennessy Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of South Jersey Industries by 2.8% during the third quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. now owns 368,671 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $13,003,000 after buying an additional 10,000 shares during the last quarter. United Services Automobile Association grew its stake in shares of South Jersey Industries by 12.3% in the second quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 14,021 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $469,000 after purchasing an additional 1,536 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in shares of South Jersey Industries by 8.8% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,064,690 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $35,635,000 after purchasing an additional 86,383 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its stake in shares of South Jersey Industries by 79.9% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,725,457 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $124,692,000 after purchasing an additional 1,655,127 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of South Jersey Industries by 3.7% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,476,797 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $49,428,000 after purchasing an additional 53,211 shares during the last quarter. 85.10% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About South Jersey Industries

South Jersey Industries, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides energy-related products and services. The company engages in the purchase, transmission, and sale of natural gas. It also sells natural gas and pipeline transportation capacity on a wholesale basis to residential, commercial, and industrial customers on the interstate pipeline system, as well as transports natural gas, which is purchased directly from producers or suppliers to their customers.

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