South Jersey Industries' Earnings Beat Last Year's by 21%

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South Jersey Industries (NYS: SJI) reported earnings on Feb. 28. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), South Jersey Industries whiffed on revenue and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue contracted significantly and GAAP earnings per share expanded significantly.

Margins increased across the board.

Revenue details
South Jersey Industries notched revenue of $198.5 million. The one analyst polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see net sales of $318.0 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 30% lower than the prior-year quarter's $283.5 million.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $1.05. The four earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $1.02 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $1.22 for Q4 were 44% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.85 per share.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 28.0%, 890 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 21.8%, 700 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 18.6%, 970 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.73.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.03 billion. The average EPS estimate is $3.19.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 56 members out of 65 rating the stock outperform, and nine members rating it underperform. Among 21 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 20 give South Jersey Industries a green thumbs-up, and one gives it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on South Jersey Industries is outperform, with an average price target of $59.50.

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At the time this article was published Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor ofMotley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of South Jersey Industries. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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