Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of NewJersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “New Jersey Resources Corporation, an energy services holding company, provides regulated gas distribution, and retail and wholesale energy services. The Natural Gas Distribution segment offers regulated retail natural gas services to approximately 521,200 residential and commercial customers in central and northern New Jersey; provides storage management services The Clean Energy Ventures segment invests in commercial and residential solar projects located in New Jersey; and onshore wind projects in Montana, Iowa, Kansas, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania. The Energy Services segment provides unregulated wholesale energy management services to other energy companies and natural gas producers. The Midstream segment invests in natural gas transportation and storage facilities. The Home Services and Other segment offer heating, ventilation, and cooling services; holds and develops commercial real estate properties. “

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on NJR. ValuEngine downgraded shares of NewJersey Resources from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Janney Montgomery Scott raised shares of NewJersey Resources from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 22nd. Guggenheim reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $44.00 target price on shares of NewJersey Resources in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of NewJersey Resources from a b rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $44.00.

NewJersey Resources (NJR) opened at $36.70 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.81, a current ratio of 0.72 and a quick ratio of 0.46. NewJersey Resources has a 1 year low of $35.55 and a 1 year high of $45.45. The company has a market cap of $3,193.99, a P/E ratio of 21.37, a PEG ratio of 3.38 and a beta of 0.33.

NewJersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 21st. The utilities provider reported ($0.14) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.13) by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $536.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $480.90 million. NewJersey Resources had a net margin of 5.82% and a return on equity of 11.97%. NewJersey Resources’s revenue was up 14.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted ($0.03) earnings per share. analysts predict that NewJersey Resources will post 1.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 2nd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.2725 per share. This represents a $1.09 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.97%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. NewJersey Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 71.71%.

In other NewJersey Resources news, VP Amanda Mullan sold 920 shares of NewJersey Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.64, for a total transaction of $41,068.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Lawrence R. Codey sold 6,000 shares of NewJersey Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.13, for a total transaction of $258,780.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 13,266 shares in the company, valued at $572,162.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Stifel Financial Corp raised its stake in shares of NewJersey Resources by 2.5% during the second quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 9,853 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $390,000 after acquiring an additional 237 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its stake in shares of NewJersey Resources by 5.1% during the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 5,823 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $231,000 after acquiring an additional 284 shares in the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada raised its stake in shares of NewJersey Resources by 0.8% during the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 38,631 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,534,000 after acquiring an additional 325 shares in the last quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC raised its stake in shares of NewJersey Resources by 14.4% during the second quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC now owns 7,946 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $315,000 after acquiring an additional 1,001 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of NewJersey Resources by 11.6% during the third quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 12,287 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $518,000 after acquiring an additional 1,275 shares in the last quarter. 63.44% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About NewJersey Resources

New Jersey Resources Corporation is an energy services holding company. The Company’s business is the distribution of natural gas through a regulated utility, which provides other retail and wholesale energy services to customers and investing in clean energy projects and midstream assets. It operates in four business segments: Natural Gas Distribution, Clean Energy Ventures, Energy Services and Midstream.

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