South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE:SJI) Short Interest Down 9.4% in September

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South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE:SJI) was the target of a large decline in short interest during the month of September. As of September 15th, there was short interest totalling 4,740,000 shares, a decline of 9.4% from the August 31st total of 5,230,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,180,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.0 days.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 7.9% during the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 765,911 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $19,140,000 after purchasing an additional 56,064 shares during the period. Phocas Financial Corp. increased its holdings in shares of South Jersey Industries by 10.3% during the second quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. now owns 173,539 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,336,000 after acquiring an additional 16,225 shares in the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. increased its holdings in shares of South Jersey Industries by 63.0% during the second quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 38,196 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $954,000 after acquiring an additional 14,761 shares in the last quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA boosted its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 60.3% during the second quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 46,572 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,162,000 after buying an additional 17,522 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Tudor Investment Corp Et Al purchased a new position in shares of South Jersey Industries during the second quarter valued at approximately $599,000. 83.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of SJI traded up $0.69 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $19.71. The company had a trading volume of 920,212 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,042,615. The stock has a market cap of $1.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.24 and a beta of 0.70. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $21.31 and a 200-day simple moving average of $24.35. South Jersey Industries has a fifty-two week low of $18.24 and a fifty-two week high of $33.43. The company has a current ratio of 0.46, a quick ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 5th. The utilities provider reported ($0.01) EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.05) by $0.04. South Jersey Industries had a return on equity of 7.84% and a net margin of 6.79%. The business had revenue of $259.96 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $280.19 million. As a group, equities analysts predict that South Jersey Industries will post 1.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 2nd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 10th were issued a $0.295 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 9th. This represents a $1.18 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.99%. South Jersey Industries’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 105.36%.

Several analysts have recently commented on SJI shares. Mizuho initiated coverage on shares of South Jersey Industries in a research report on Thursday, July 23rd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $25.00 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of South Jersey Industries from $23.00 to $21.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 18th. Bank of America reduced their price target on South Jersey Industries from $23.00 to $20.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 21st. Zacks Investment Research raised South Jersey Industries from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 14th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered South Jersey Industries from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $27.00 to $25.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 1st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $26.00.

South Jersey Industries Company Profile

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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