South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE:SJI) Short Interest Down 6.8% in October

South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE:SJI) was the target of a large decline in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 5,510,000 shares, a decline of 6.8% from the September 30th total of 5,910,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 463,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 11.9 days. Approximately 6.0% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its position in shares of South Jersey Industries by 65.3% during the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,190 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $40,000 after buying an additional 470 shares during the period. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in South Jersey Industries in the second quarter valued at approximately $51,000. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. raised its position in South Jersey Industries by 147.1% in the second quarter. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 2,891 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $99,000 after purchasing an additional 1,721 shares during the period. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new stake in South Jersey Industries in the second quarter valued at approximately $107,000. Finally, Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new stake in South Jersey Industries in the second quarter valued at approximately $127,000. 80.14% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of SJI stock traded up $0.34 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $30.63. 159,190 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 420,651. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.25 and a beta of 0.66. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.43, a current ratio of 0.25 and a quick ratio of 0.21. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $31.73 and its 200-day moving average price is $32.46. South Jersey Industries has a 52-week low of $26.06 and a 52-week high of $34.48.

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South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th. The utilities provider reported ($0.30) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.27) by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $261.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $253.87 million. South Jersey Industries had a net margin of 8.81% and a return on equity of 6.56%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 13.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.27) EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that South Jersey Industries will post 1.09 earnings per share for the current year.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. TheStreet cut South Jersey Industries from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Friday, August 23rd. Zacks Investment Research cut South Jersey Industries from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 30th. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on South Jersey Industries from $32.00 to $31.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, November 8th. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 target price on shares of South Jersey Industries in a report on Friday, November 8th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut South Jersey Industries from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $32.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, August 5th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $35.00.

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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