South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE:SJI) to Issue Dividend Increase – $0.31 Per Share

South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE:SJI) declared a quarterly dividend on Monday, November 22nd, Zacks reports. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 10th will be given a dividend of 0.31 per share by the utilities provider on Wednesday, December 29th. This represents a $1.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.04%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 9th. This is an increase from South Jersey Industries’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30.

South Jersey Industries has increased its dividend by 8.2% over the last three years and has raised its dividend annually for the last 16 consecutive years. South Jersey Industries has a dividend payout ratio of 72.5% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities research analysts expect South Jersey Industries to earn $1.69 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.21 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 71.6%.

NYSE:SJI opened at $24.58 on Wednesday. South Jersey Industries has a 1 year low of $20.48 and a 1 year high of $29.24. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $22.81 and a 200-day moving average of $24.73. The company has a current ratio of 0.70, a quick ratio of 0.62 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.60 and a beta of 0.90.

South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported ($0.17) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.19) by $0.02. South Jersey Industries had a net margin of 4.06% and a return on equity of 9.80%. The company had revenue of $365.63 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $286.98 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.06) earnings per share. As a group, analysts forecast that South Jersey Industries will post 1.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on SJI. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of South Jersey Industries from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 11th. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $31.00 price objective on shares of South Jersey Industries in a research report on Friday, November 5th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on shares of South Jersey Industries from $25.00 to $24.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, September 17th. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded shares of South Jersey Industries from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $27.00 to $24.00 in a research report on Monday, October 4th. Finally, TheStreet cut shares of South Jersey Industries from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 5th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, South Jersey Industries has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $26.50.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. LPL Financial LLC raised its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 24.4% during the 3rd quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 19,705 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $419,000 after acquiring an additional 3,863 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new stake in shares of South Jersey Industries during the 3rd quarter valued at $217,000. Royal Bank of Canada raised its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 109.6% during the 3rd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 28,192 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $598,000 after acquiring an additional 14,741 shares during the last quarter. Finally, OLD Mission Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of South Jersey Industries during the 3rd quarter valued at $892,000. Institutional investors own 93.74% of the company’s stock.

About South Jersey Industries

South Jersey Industries, Inc is a holding company, which engages in the provision of energy-related products and services. It operates through the following segments: SJG Utility Operations; ETG Utility Operations; ELK Utility Operations, Wholesale Energy Operations; Retail Electric Operations; Appliance Service Operations; Midstream; and Corporate & Services.

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Dividend History for South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI)

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