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SJI Breaks Above 3% Yield Territory

By Dividend Channel Staff, Thursday, December 8, 3:05 PM ET
Play Video: The Importance of Dividends

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In trading on Thursday, shares of South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE:SJI) were yielding above the 3% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $1.61), with the stock changing hands as low as $53.51 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market's total return. To illustrate, suppose for example you purchased shares of the iShares Russell 3000 ETF (IWV) back on 5/31/2000 you would have paid $78.27 per share. Fast forward to 5/31/2011 and each share was worth $80.78 on that date, a mere $2.51 or 3.2% increase over eleven years. But now consider that you collected a whopping $9.69 per share in dividends over the same period, increasing your return to 20.27%. Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an average annual total return of about 1.7%; so by comparison collecting a yield above 3% would appear considerably attractive if that yield is sustainable. South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE:SJI) is a member of the Russell 3000, giving it special status as one of the largest 3000 companies on the U.S. stock markets.

In general, dividend amounts are not always predictable and tend to follow the ups and downs of profitability at each company. In the case of South Jersey Industries, Inc., looking at the history chart for SJI below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue, and in turn whether it is a reasonable expectation to expect a 3% annual yield.

SJI Dividend History
Date Div*
12/07/11 0.403
09/07/11 0.365
06/08/11 0.365
03/08/11 0.365
12/08/10 0.365
09/08/10 0.330
06/08/10 0.330
03/08/10 0.330
12/08/09 0.330
09/08/09 0.298
06/08/09 0.298
03/06/09 0.298
12/08/08 0.298
09/08/08 0.270
06/06/08 0.270
03/06/08 0.270
12/06/07 0.270
09/06/07 0.245
06/07/07 0.245
03/07/07 0.245
12/07/06 0.245
09/07/06 0.225
06/07/06 0.225
03/08/06 0.225
12/07/05 0.225
09/07/05 0.213
06/08/05 0.212
03/08/05 0.212
12/08/04 0.212
09/08/04 0.203
06/08/04 0.203
03/08/04 0.203
12/08/03 0.203
09/08/03 0.193
06/06/03 0.193
03/06/03 0.193
12/06/02 0.193
09/06/02 0.188
06/06/02 0.188
03/07/02 0.188
12/06/01 0.185
09/06/01 0.185
06/07/01 0.185
03/07/01 0.185
12/07/00 0.182
09/07/00 0.182
06/07/00 0.182
03/08/00 0.182
12/08/99 0.180
09/08/99 0.180
06/08/99 0.180
03/08/99 0.180
12/08/98 0.180
09/08/98 0.180
06/08/98 0.180
03/06/98 0.180
12/08/97 0.180
09/08/97 0.180
06/06/97 0.180
03/06/97 0.180
12/06/96 0.180
09/06/96 0.180
06/06/96 0.180
03/07/96 0.180
12/07/95 0.180
09/07/95 0.180
* Data may be adjusted for splits; we are not responsible for data errors; always verify data with the company.

According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, SJI makes up 6.99% of the S&P SmallCap Utilities Portfolio ETF (NASDAQ:PSCU) which is trading lower by about 2% on the day Thursday.

See what other ETFs contain SJI
See what other stocks are held by PSCU

SJI operates in the Gas Utilities sector, among companies like Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) which is off about 2.8% today, and New Jersey Resources Corp (NYSE:NJR) trading lower by about 2.3%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of SJI, versus SWX and NJR.

SJI,SWX,NJR Relative Performance Chart


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This Article's Word Cloud:   Channel   Industries   Jersey   NYSE   PSCU   Portfolio   Russell   South   Thursday   Utilities   about   above   always   amounts   annual   asset   chart   companies   company   consider   data   designed   dividend   dividends   each   escape   fillColor   follow   have   history   investors   lower   other   over   performance   period   portfolio   return   share   shares   stock   stocks   that   total   trading   what   whether   which   with   yield

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