New Jersey Resources Corp (NYSE:NJR) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the seven research firms that are covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, two have issued a hold recommendation and two have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year target price among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $48.00.

NJR has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut New Jersey Resources from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 12th. Guggenheim cut New Jersey Resources from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, January 7th. They noted that the move was a valuation call.

In other news, Director M William Howard, Jr. sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.63, for a total value of $44,630.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 18,713 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $835,161.19. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. In the last three months, insiders sold 3,000 shares of company stock valued at $138,080. Company insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NJR. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its stake in shares of New Jersey Resources by 354.2% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 17,920 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $802,000 after purchasing an additional 13,975 shares in the last quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC boosted its stake in New Jersey Resources by 10.0% during the third quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC now owns 12,997 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $603,000 after buying an additional 1,182 shares in the last quarter. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in New Jersey Resources by 940.5% during the third quarter. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC now owns 253,203 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,909,000 after buying an additional 228,869 shares in the last quarter. Confluence Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in New Jersey Resources by 3.2% during the third quarter. Confluence Investment Management LLC now owns 422,428 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $19,474,000 after buying an additional 13,016 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its stake in New Jersey Resources by 17.6% during the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 485,170 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $22,366,000 after buying an additional 72,589 shares in the last quarter. 67.72% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

NJR traded up $0.39 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $46.73. 539,320 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 524,547. The company has a market cap of $4.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.05, a PEG ratio of 3.29 and a beta of 0.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 1.05 and a quick ratio of 0.79. New Jersey Resources has a 52 week low of $37.65 and a 52 week high of $51.83.

New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by ($0.08). The company had revenue of $811.77 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $712.00 million. New Jersey Resources had a return on equity of 10.92% and a net margin of 6.49%. New Jersey Resources’s quarterly revenue was up 15.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.56 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts anticipate that New Jersey Resources will post 2.01 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a $0.2925 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $1.17 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.50%. New Jersey Resources’s payout ratio is 42.70%.

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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