Shares of NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI) have been given a consensus rating of “Buy” by the thirteen research firms that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $26.38.

NI has been the topic of several recent research reports. KeyCorp upped their price objective on shares of NiSource from $26.00 to $27.00 and gave the company a “$26.15” rating in a report on Thursday, July 19th. TheStreet raised shares of NiSource from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 2nd. ValuEngine raised shares of NiSource from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 27th. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price objective on shares of NiSource in a report on Monday, May 7th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of NiSource from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 3rd.

NYSE NI traded down $0.27 during trading on Friday, hitting $27.16. 19,401 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,673,238. The company has a market cap of $10.02 billion, a PE ratio of 22.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.88 and a beta of 0.21. NiSource has a 12-month low of $22.44 and a 12-month high of $27.76. The company has a quick ratio of 0.38, a current ratio of 0.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.07 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.09 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $1.01 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $999.39 million. NiSource had a net margin of 5.20% and a return on equity of 9.19%. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.10 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that NiSource will post 1.29 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 20th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 31st will be issued a $0.195 dividend. This represents a $0.78 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.87%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 30th. NiSource’s payout ratio is 64.46%.

In other news, VP Peter T. Disser sold 6,732 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.67, for a total value of $166,078.44. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 7,695 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $189,835.65. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Carrie J. Hightman sold 27,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.75, for a total transaction of $722,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 325,066 shares in the company, valued at $8,695,515.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 36,132 shares of company stock worth $951,928. Insiders own 0.37% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of NiSource by 16.3% in the second quarter. Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc. now owns 87,578 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,301,000 after purchasing an additional 12,289 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its position in shares of NiSource by 14.5% in the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 74,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,792,000 after purchasing an additional 9,488 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its position in shares of NiSource by 55.9% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 4,331,017 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $113,819,000 after purchasing an additional 1,553,750 shares during the last quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund increased its position in shares of NiSource by 173.7% in the second quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 235,322 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $6,184,000 after purchasing an additional 149,347 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Atria Investments LLC bought a new position in shares of NiSource in the second quarter worth approximately $1,821,000. 83.83% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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Analyst Recommendations for NiSource (NYSE:NI)

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