New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning, 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. “

Several other research firms have also recently commented on NJR. TheStreet upgraded shares of New Jersey Resources from a c rating to a b rating in a research note on Thursday, December 31st. Siebert Williams Shank initiated coverage on shares of New Jersey Resources in a research report on Tuesday, January 19th. They issued a buy rating and a $44.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Mizuho boosted their target price on New Jersey Resources from $38.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $38.60.

NJR opened at $41.35 on Wednesday. New Jersey Resources has a 52 week low of $25.87 and a 52 week high of $42.57. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $40.12 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $34.95. The company has a quick ratio of 0.81, a current ratio of 1.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22. The company has a market cap of $3.98 billion, a PE ratio of 20.07, a P/E/G ratio of 3.89 and a beta of 0.46.

New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by ($0.03). New Jersey Resources had a net margin of 9.93% and a return on equity of 10.61%. The company had revenue of $454.31 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $675.28 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.38 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 26.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that New Jersey Resources will post 1.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 17th were issued a $0.333 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, March 16th. This represents a $1.33 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.22%. New Jersey Resources’s dividend payout ratio is presently 64.56%.

In other New Jersey Resources news, Director M William Howard, Jr. sold 5,580 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.16, for a total transaction of $224,092.80. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 17,335 shares in the company, valued at $696,173.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Patrick J. Migliaccio sold 3,811 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.11, for a total value of $141,426.21. 0.61% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in New Jersey Resources by 7.9% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,686,757 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $522,114,000 after acquiring an additional 1,074,126 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in New Jersey Resources during the 4th quarter valued at $32,891,000. John G Ullman & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in New Jersey Resources during the 4th quarter valued at $9,142,000. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. increased its position in New Jersey Resources by 21.3% during the fourth quarter. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. now owns 1,311,600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $46,627,000 after buying an additional 230,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of New Jersey Resources by 712.1% in the fourth quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 258,024 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $9,172,000 after acquiring an additional 226,251 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.65% of the company’s stock.

New Jersey Resources Company Profile

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 Storage and Transportation. The Natural Gas Distribution segment offers regulated retail natural gas services to approximately 558,000 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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