NiSource, Inc (NI) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of NiSource, Inc (NYSE:NI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Year to date, shares of NiSource have gained higher than the industry it belongs to. NiSource is benefiting from continued execution of its infrastructure investment strategy.  NiSource will annually invest nearly $1.6–$1.8 billion in planned utility infrastructures from 2018 to 2020 and has identified long-term infrastructure investments worth $30 billion. Despite investing in upgrade programs, NiSource Inc. faces the risk of disruption in operation from its ageing infrastructure. NiSource’s rising debt level amid increasing interest rates is another concern.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Zelman & Associates cut shares of NiSource from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a hold rating and issued a $23.00 target price on shares of NiSource in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Barclays PLC reiterated an equal weight rating and issued a $26.00 target price (up previously from $25.00) on shares of NiSource in a research report on Thursday, June 1st. Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of NiSource from an underperform rating to an outperform rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $25.00 to $29.00 in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Finally, KeyCorp reiterated a buy rating and issued a $29.50 target price on shares of NiSource in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $26.61.

NiSource (NYSE NI) traded up 0.2837% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $26.2643. 146,966 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $26.75 and its 200-day moving average price is $25.30. The stock has a market cap of $8.56 billion, a PE ratio of 30.4690 and a beta of 0.39. NiSource has a 12 month low of $21.17 and a 12 month high of $27.29.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.10 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.10. The company had revenue of $990.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $934.95 million. NiSource had a net margin of 5.96% and a return on equity of 9.17%. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.09 EPS. Equities analysts expect that NiSource will post $1.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 20th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 31st will be issued a $0.175 dividend. This represents a $0.70 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.67%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 30th. NiSource’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 81.40%.

In other news, Director Michael E. Jesanis purchased 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 14th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $26.44 per share, with a total value of $52,880.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 34,195 shares in the company, valued at $904,115.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 0.35% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Marshall Wace North America L.P. grew its holdings in NiSource by 304.9% in the 2nd quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 142,287 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,557,000 after acquiring an additional 107,142 shares during the last quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC bought a new stake in NiSource in the 2nd quarter worth $4,326,000. State of Wisconsin Investment Board grew its holdings in NiSource by 48.8% in the 2nd quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 205,446 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,210,000 after acquiring an additional 67,360 shares during the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System grew its holdings in NiSource by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 80,090 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,905,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group bought a new stake in NiSource in the 2nd quarter worth $35,129,000. 81.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About NiSource

NiSource Inc is an energy holding company. The Company is engaged in the distribution of natural gas. The Company operates through two business segments: Gas Distribution Operations and Electric Operations. The Company’s Gas Distribution Operations segment provides natural gas service and transportation for residential, commercial and industrial customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Indiana and Massachusetts.

Analyst Recommendations for NiSource (NYSE:NI)

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