NiSource (NI) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of NiSource (NYSE:NI) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “In the past six months, shares of the company have underperformed the industry. Despite of investing in upgrade programs, the company faces the risk of disruption in operation from its ageing infrastructure. Debt level is another concern amid rising interest rates. However, NiSource reaffirmed capital investment guidance for 2018 and expects to invest nearly $1.6-$1.8 billion annually in utility infrastructure over the next two years. The company projects long-term infrastructure investments worth $30 billion and continues to expand customer base. The company is also working actively to reduce its carbon footprint by bringing down coal usage. NiSource has made considerable progress on regulatory initiatives across different states it operates in.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Barclays decreased their target price on NiSource from $27.00 to $26.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. Goldman Sachs Group lowered NiSource from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $29.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Citigroup boosted their target price on NiSource from $25.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, November 29th. KeyCorp cut their price target on NiSource from $28.00 to $27.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 5th. Finally, Bank of America restated a buy rating and set a $28.00 price target on shares of NiSource in a research note on Monday, September 17th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. NiSource presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $27.45.

Shares of NYSE:NI opened at $26.81 on Monday. NiSource has a fifty-two week low of $22.44 and a fifty-two week high of $28.11. The company has a quick ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 0.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.52. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.16, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.84 and a beta of 0.14.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.10 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.04. NiSource had a positive return on equity of 9.30% and a negative net margin of 1.82%. The business had revenue of $895.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $946.10 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.07 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that NiSource will post 1.29 earnings per share for the current year.

In other NiSource news, CFO Donald Eugene Brown sold 2,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.18, for a total transaction of $62,832.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 46,767 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,224,360.06. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.37% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of NiSource by 3.9% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 39,886,268 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $993,966,000 after acquiring an additional 1,483,703 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of NiSource by 4.5% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 31,345,277 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $781,123,000 after acquiring an additional 1,360,780 shares during the period. Zimmer Partners LP grew its stake in shares of NiSource by 1.5% during the 3rd quarter. Zimmer Partners LP now owns 13,579,951 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $338,412,000 after acquiring an additional 201,300 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in shares of NiSource by 34.7% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 12,869,201 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $320,701,000 after acquiring an additional 3,317,125 shares during the period. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its stake in shares of NiSource by 10.5% during the 3rd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 9,581,303 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $238,766,000 after acquiring an additional 913,237 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.20% of the company’s stock.

NiSource Company Profile

NiSource Inc, an energy holding company, operates as a regulated natural gas and electric utility company in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Gas Distribution Operations and Electric Operations. It provides natural gas service and transportation to residential, commercial, and industrial customers; generates, transmits, and distributes electricity; and offers wholesale and transmission transaction services.

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