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Are Utilities Stocks Lagging South Jersey Industries (SJI) This Year?

Investors interested in Utilities stocks should always be looking to find the best-performing companies in the group. South Jersey Industries (SJI) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Utilities peers, we might be able to answer that question.

South Jersey Industries is a member of the Utilities sector. This group includes 108 individual stocks and currently holds a Zacks Sector Rank of #4. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different sector groups. The average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups is measured, and the sectors are listed from best to worst.

The Zacks Rank is a proven system that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions, highlighting a variety of stocks that are displaying the right characteristics to beat the market over the next one to three months. South Jersey Industries is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for SJI's full-year earnings has moved 2.1% higher. This signals that analyst sentiment is improving and the stock's earnings outlook is more positive.

Based on the latest available data, SJI has gained about 28.5% so far this year. At the same time, Utilities stocks have lost an average of 8.2%. This means that South Jersey Industries is outperforming the sector as a whole this year.

Unitil (UTL) is another Utilities stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has returned 2.8%.

The consensus estimate for Unitil's current year EPS has increased 2% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Looking more specifically, South Jersey Industries belongs to the Utility - Gas Distribution industry, a group that includes 15 individual stocks and currently sits at #47 in the Zacks Industry Rank. Stocks in this group have gained about 4.1% so far this year, so SJI is performing better this group in terms of year-to-date returns.

On the other hand, Unitil belongs to the Utility - Electric Power industry. This 61-stock industry is currently ranked #68. The industry has moved -7.7% year to date.

Going forward, investors interested in Utilities stocks should continue to pay close attention to South Jersey Industries and Unitil as they could maintain their solid performance.

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South Jersey Industries, Inc. (SJI): Free Stock Analysis Report
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