Zacks Investment Research Upgrades NiSource, Inc (NI) to Buy
NiSource, Inc (NYSE:NI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $28.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 8.99% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Shares of NiSource have returned better than the broader industry in the last six months. 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. Further, delays in completion of projects increase capital costs and stretch the time limit of NiSource’s expected benefit from these projects. Inconsistent weather conditions might deter NiSource’s growth.”
NI has been the topic of several other reports. Barclays PLC reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $26.00 price objective (up from $25.00) on shares of NiSource in a research report on Thursday, June 1st. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services began coverage on NiSource in a research report on Friday, May 19th. They set a “buy” rating and a $27.00 price objective on the stock. Zelman & Associates lowered NiSource from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $23.00 price objective on shares of NiSource in a research report on Friday, March 31st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $25.60.
Shares of NiSource (NYSE NI) traded down 0.46% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $25.69. The stock had a trading volume of 2,131,716 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $25.56 and a 200-day moving average price of $23.72. The stock has a market cap of $8.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.48 and a beta of 0.37. NiSource has a 12 month low of $21.17 and a 12 month high of $26.56.
NiSource (NYSE:NI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.71 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.51 billion. NiSource had a return on equity of 9.18% and a net margin of 7.65%. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.62 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that NiSource will post $1.18 EPS for the current year.
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In related news, COO Jimmie L. Stanley sold 37,325 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.11, for a total transaction of $899,905.75. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 315,471 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,606,005.81. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Donald Eugene Brown sold 6,906 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.51, for a total value of $176,172.06. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 141,168 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,601,195.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 89,981 shares of company stock valued at $2,191,779 over the last 90 days. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of NI. Advisory Services Network LLC bought a new stake in shares of NiSource during the first quarter valued at $108,000. First Financial Corp IN bought a new stake in shares of NiSource during the first quarter valued at $124,000. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of NiSource by 0.4% in the first quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 6,054 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $144,000 after buying an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co boosted its stake in shares of NiSource by 454.0% in the second quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 5,839 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $148,000 after buying an additional 4,785 shares in the last quarter. Finally, LSV Asset Management bought a new stake in shares of NiSource during the first quarter valued at $159,000. Institutional investors own 82.37% of the company’s stock.
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.
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