Zacks: SJW Group (SJW) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Strong Buy” from Brokerages

Shares of SJW Group (NYSE:SJW) have been assigned an average broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the three brokers that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a strong buy rating. SJW Group’s rating score has improved by 50% in the last 90 days as a result of a number of analysts’ ratings changes.

Brokers have set a 12-month consensus price target of $68.00 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.40 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given SJW Group an industry rank of 100 out of 255 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

SJW has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded SJW Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. ValuEngine cut SJW Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 30th. Wells Fargo & Co initiated coverage on SJW Group in a research note on Monday, January 28th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $70.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Evercore ISI upgraded SJW Group from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 5th.



Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SJW. Maple Brown Abbott Ltd purchased a new position in shares of SJW Group in the fourth quarter worth about $23,294,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of SJW Group by 11.8% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,481,108 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $82,379,000 after purchasing an additional 156,894 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of SJW Group by 247.8% in the fourth quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 188,263 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $10,471,000 after purchasing an additional 134,135 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE raised its stake in shares of SJW Group by 247.3% in the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 143,643 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $9,512,000 after purchasing an additional 102,286 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Confluence Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of SJW Group in the third quarter worth about $6,119,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 41.59% of the company’s stock.

SJW Group stock traded up $0.05 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $59.97. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 87,314 shares, compared to its average volume of 127,372. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 0.53. SJW Group has a 52-week low of $51.26 and a 52-week high of $68.42. The stock has a market cap of $1.64 billion, a PE ratio of 26.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.46 and a beta of 0.08.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 11th will be paid a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.00%. This is a boost from SJW Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 8th. SJW Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 49.56%.

About SJW Group

SJW Group, through its subsidiaries, provides water utility services in the United States. It engages in the production, purchase, storage, purification, distribution, wholesale, and retail sale of water. The company also provides non-tariffed services, including water system operations, maintenance agreements, and antenna site leases.

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