New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) Lowered to “Strong Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, 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. “

NJR has been the topic of a number of other reports. Mizuho began coverage on New Jersey Resources in a research note on Thursday, July 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $37.00 price target on the stock. Bank of America lifted their price target on New Jersey Resources from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co decreased their price target on New Jersey Resources from $45.00 to $38.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, May 11th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.75.

New Jersey Resources stock traded up $0.22 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $33.07. The company had a trading volume of 6,323 shares, compared to its average volume of 641,524. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 0.61 and a quick ratio of 0.49. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $31.71 and a 200 day moving average price of $34.49. The firm has a market cap of $3.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.50, a P/E/G ratio of 2.57 and a beta of 0.36. New Jersey Resources has a 12-month low of $21.14 and a 12-month high of $46.36.

New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 7th. The utilities provider reported ($0.06) EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.04 by ($0.10). The company had revenue of $299.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $447.88 million. New Jersey Resources had a return on equity of 9.54% and a net margin of 8.30%. New Jersey Resources’s revenue for the quarter was down 31.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned ($0.20) earnings per share. As a group, research analysts expect that New Jersey Resources will post 2.1 earnings per share for the current year.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of NJR. State Street Corp grew its position in shares of New Jersey Resources by 9.2% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 8,413,192 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $288,384,000 after buying an additional 707,791 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its position in shares of New Jersey Resources by 110.4% in the 1st quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 1,253,592 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $42,585,000 after buying an additional 657,706 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of New Jersey Resources in the 4th quarter worth approximately $29,223,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its position in shares of New Jersey Resources by 227.2% during the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 677,380 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $23,013,000 after purchasing an additional 470,328 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of New Jersey Resources by 2.9% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,180,089 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $481,699,000 after purchasing an additional 401,752 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.32% of the company’s stock.

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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