The board of directors of New Jersey Resources Corp.NJR has approved a 6.3% increase in its quarterly dividend rate. The revised dividend of 25.5 cents per share will be distributed on Oct 3, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Sep 23.
The latest hike marks an increase of 1.5 cents from the prior payout of 24 cents per share and it reflects management's confidence in the company's financial profile and performance. The new annualized dividend amounts to $1.02 per share, up from 96 cents paid earlier, resulting in a dividend yield of 3.10%.
New Jersey Resources' management has raised the dividend payout for 23 times in the last 21 years and the company has been paying quarterly cash dividends to its shareholders for over 64 years now.
The company intends to achieve long-term net financial earnings growth of 5-9% annually on the back of infrastructure expenditure, midstream development, wind and solar investments, and expansion of customer base. The company added 5,289 customers in the first nine months of 2016 and is on track to add another 8,150, 8,550 and 8,750 customers in 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively, reflecting an annual growth rate of 1.6%.
NJ RESOURCES Price
New Jersey Clean Energy Ventures (NJRCEV), an affiliate of New Jersey Resources, recently completed the construction of three commercial solar projects in New Jersey totaling 10.9 megawatts ("MW") for an investment of $26 million. Construction of two more solar projects is underway, for a cumulative investment of $26.7 million. NJRCEV is spending nearly $84 million to construct, own and operate a 39.9 MW wind farm in Somerset County, PA. The majority of the electricity generated by the wind farm has been contracted under a 15-year power purchase agreement with Iron Mountain.
A Similar Move by a Peer
The board of directors of IDACORP Inc. IDA has approved a 7.8% increase in its quarterly dividend rate to 55 cents per share. The annual dividend stands at $2.20 per share.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
New Jersey Resources carries currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A couple of better-ranked stocks in the same space are Clean Energy Fuels Corp. CLNE with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and ONE Gas, Inc. OGS , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
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