Bank of Nova Scotia Dips Its Toes in SJW Group Waters
SJW Group, a California-based utilities provider, has attracted a new investor in the form of Bank of Nova Scotia. According to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the fund purchased over 2,700 shares of SJW Group stock valued at approximately $219,000 in the fourth quarter. This move signals an interesting shift for the Canadian multinational bank, which appears to be expanding its presence into utilities sectors.
However, this news is not without contention since insiders have also been selling off their stakes in the company recently. Between May 3rd and March 27th of this year, both Director Carl Guardino and insider Craig J. Patla sold $59,075.31 and $55,165.25 worth of shares respectively. Though these sell-offs came after personal gains from investors who had held onto the stock through its fluctuations over time; it could still raise questions about where SJW Group’s value truly lies.
Meanwhile, SJW has been maintaining a steady market position with a low beta factor of 0.57 compared to industry peers: American Water Works Company’s beta rate currently sits at 0.29 while Aqua America Inc’s stands at 0.35. The company’s market cap is currently sitting at $2.35 billion and has endured substantial stock price rise and fall over the past year with divergent highs and lows however recently trading at around $74 per share.
Furthermore, SJW’s sound financial situation is evidenced by its debt-to-equity ratio standing at 1.32 with current ratios being just below unity – indicating strong liquidity levels.
Bank of Nova Scotia’s latest acquisition adds credence to their supposed transition to becoming more socially responsible investors who entrust environmentally-oriented projects starting first within their own lines of investing avenues – diversifying investments outside traditional energy sector investments. This latest acquisition of SJW Group stock could signify a broader shift in our understanding of socially responsible investing tendencies.
SJW Group’s progressive stance with regard to environmental practices and long-term resource management is certainly an area of interest for investors of all persuasions looking to align their financial interests with ecological concerns. As more companies prioritize ESG factors in their corporate strategy, the adoption of ESG-focused funds amongst a wider range of investors is likely to grow – something world governments across many different lines from carbon emissions trading markets to tax rebates for sustainable energy projects are trying to encourage.
Overall, it will be interesting to see how this move by Bank of Nova Scotia plays out in the context of the broader market trends towards ESG and socially responsible investing, as well as SJW Group’s future prospects.
As noted above external aspects including however not limited to climate change, clean energy targets greater corporate social responsibility-oriented shareholder leadership can only serve as tailwind support platforms for investment fundamentals going forward.
Institutional Investors Take Center Stage in SJW Group Stocks
SJW Group Stocks: Institutional Investors Taking a Bigger Slice of the Pie
SJW Group, the utilities provider on NYSE, has seen a slew of institutional investors either bulking up or reducing their stakes in the company. Mirae Asset Global Investments hiked its stake by 1.3%, leaving them with 13,279 shared in SJW Group worth around $1,078,000. Ellevest Inc increased its stake by nearly 88% leaving them with over 400 shares valued at $34,000. Arizona State Retirement System also added to their holdings by almost 4%. Creative Planning and Creative Financial Designs also increased their stakes but by smaller percentages than some of their contemporaries.
But not everyone is optimistic about SJW’s prospects moving forward. Analysts at JP Morgan Chase downgraded SJW from “overweight” to “neutral”, while Wells Fargo did even worse as it downgraded the utility firm from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight,” with a target price of $76 given as well. Overall, seven analysts have rated the stock with only one holding a buy rating.
SJW has posted earnings-per-share (EPS) of $0.37 for the most recent quarter – beating out analyst estimates by around nine cents – and still appears set for growth this year as sell-side analysts anticipate earnings-per-share predictions for SJW hovering around 2.46 during the course of this year.
The picture looks good for shareholders looking for regular dividend payments though: SJW recently announced they will be increasing their quarterly dividend payout from $0.19 per share to $0.38, which amounts to roughly $1.52 annually or a yield of approximately 2%.
As it stands currently, institutional investors and hedge funds own more than two-thirds (72%) of all shares in SJW Group; making the shift towards institutions carrying more weight within SGJ almost a foregone conclusion in the eyes of industry experts.
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