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South Jersey Industries' GAAP earnings hit by effects of tax reform

South Jersey Industries Inc. on Feb. 22 reported economic earnings of $40.0 million, or 50 cents per share, for the fourth quarter, up from $33.2 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the 2017 fourth quarter was 42 cents.

GAAP earnings were $4.0 million, or 5 cents per share, a drop from $46.0 million, or 58 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

For the full year, South Jersey Industries reported economic earnings of $98.1 million, or $1.23 per share, compared with $102.8 million, or $1.34 per share, a year earlier. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the year was $1.16.

GAAP net loss for the year was $3.4 million, or 4 cents per share, compared with net income of $119.1 million, or $1.56 per share, the previous year.

South Jersey Industries attributed the decrease in GAAP earnings to "significant impacts" of the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate as a result of the tax reform. South Jersey Gas Co. posted a $263.8 million decrease in deferred tax liabilities, increasing its regulatory liabilities by the end of the year.

The company expects 2018 full-year economic earnings of $1.57 per share to $1.65 per share. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS guidance for the year is $1.45.