NiSource (NYSE:NI) Stock Rating Lowered by StockNews.com

StockNews.com lowered shares of NiSource (NYSE:NIFree Report) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Monday morning.

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on NI. Guggenheim lowered their price target on shares of NiSource from $30.00 to $27.00 in a report on Monday, October 9th. LADENBURG THALM/SH SH started coverage on NiSource in a research note on Friday, October 6th. They issued a buy rating and a $25.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Barclays initiated coverage on NiSource in a research note on Monday. They issued an overweight rating and a $28.00 price objective for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of Moderate Buy and an average price target of $28.86.

View Our Latest Analysis on NiSource

NiSource Price Performance

NiSource stock traded up $0.27 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $25.83. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 5,181,882 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,771,905. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $26.32 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $26.33. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.27, a P/E/G ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 0.51. NiSource has a twelve month low of $22.86 and a twelve month high of $28.95. The company has a quick ratio of 0.29, a current ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66.

NiSource (NYSE:NIGet Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.19 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $1.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.06 billion. NiSource had a net margin of 12.46% and a return on equity of 11.14%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.10 earnings per share. Research analysts forecast that NiSource will post 1.59 earnings per share for the current year.

NiSource Increases Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, February 20th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 5th will be given a $0.265 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 2nd. This represents a $1.06 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.10%. This is a positive change from NiSource’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. NiSource’s payout ratio is 67.11%.

Insider Buying and Selling at NiSource

In other news, Director Michael E. Jesanis sold 5,000 shares of NiSource stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.24, for a total transaction of $131,200.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 48,070 shares in the company, valued at $1,261,356.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On NiSource

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in NiSource by 10.9% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 52,613,623 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,673,113,000 after acquiring an additional 5,153,843 shares during the period. State Street Corp grew its position in shares of NiSource by 8.9% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 24,192,844 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $769,332,000 after acquiring an additional 1,970,696 shares in the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC raised its stake in NiSource by 0.3% during the 3rd quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 13,111,122 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $323,582,000 after acquiring an additional 39,374 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of NiSource by 4.3% in the 2nd quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 8,980,929 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $244,986,000 after acquiring an additional 371,894 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. lifted its position in shares of NiSource by 4.2% in the third quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 8,101,773 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $199,952,000 after buying an additional 326,999 shares during the last quarter. 94.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About NiSource

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NiSource Inc, an energy holding company, operates as a regulated natural gas and electric utility company in the United States. It operates through two segments, Gas Distribution Operations and Electric Operations. The company distributes natural gas to approximately 859,000 customers in northern Indiana, as well as approximately 2.4 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, and Maryland.

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