Has New Jersey Resources (NJR) outperformed other utility stocks this year?

For those looking to find strong utility stocks, it is prudent to look for group companies that outperform their peers. Is New Jersey Resources (NJR) one of those stocks right now? Looking at the stock’s year-to-date performance against its utility peers, we might be able to answer that question.

New Jersey Resources is one of 108 individual stocks in the utilities sector. Collectively, these companies rank 11th in the Zacks industry rankings. The Zacks Industry Ranking considers 16 different industry groups. The average Zacks ranking of individual stocks within groups is measured and sectors are listed from best to worst.

The Zacks Ranking is a proven model that highlights a variety of stocks with the right characteristics to outperform the market over the next one to three months. The system emphasizes revisions to earnings estimates and favors companies with improving earnings prospects. New Jersey Resources currently sports a Zacks rank of No. 2 (buy).

Over the past 90 days, the Zacks consensus estimate for NJR’s full-year earnings has risen 1.5%. That means analyst sentiment is stronger and the stock’s earnings outlook is improving.

Our latest available data shows that NJR has returned approximately 8.8% since the start of the calendar year. At the same time, utilities stocks gained an average of 3%. That means New Jersey Resources is outperforming the sector as a whole this year.

Another utility stock, OGE Energy (OGE), has outperformed the sector so far this year. The return on the share since the beginning of the year is 7%.

Over the past three months, OGE Energy’s consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased by 29.2%. The stock currently has a Zacks rank #2 (buy).

Breaking down further, New Jersey Resources is a member of the Utilities – Gas Distribution industry, which comprises 15 individual companies and is currently ranked 151st in the Zacks industry rankings. On average, this group has gained an average of 13.5% so far this year, meaning that NJR is slightly underperforming its industry in terms of year-to-date returns.

In contrast, OGE Energy falls under the Utilities – Electric Power sector. Currently, this industry has 61 stocks and ranks 151st. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has evolved by +1.8%.

Investors interested in utility stocks should continue to follow New Jersey Resources and OGE Energy. These stocks will look to continue their strong performance.

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