NiSource, Inc (NYSE:NI) has been assigned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the fourteen ratings firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and eight have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price target among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $26.72.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $23.00 price objective on shares of NiSource in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded NiSource from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 price target for the company in a research note on Friday, September 22nd. Credit Suisse Group upgraded NiSource from an “underperform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price target for the company from $25.00 to $29.00 in a research note on Monday, August 14th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $29.50 price target on shares of NiSource in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company assumed coverage on NiSource in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $30.00 price objective on the stock.

In related news, Director Michael E. Jesanis acquired 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 14th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $26.44 per share, for a total transaction of $52,880.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 34,195 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $904,115.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.35% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in NiSource by 2,428.6% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 23,705,566 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $563,954,000 after acquiring an additional 22,768,084 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its holdings in shares of NiSource by 32.8% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 10,831,595 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $274,689,000 after purchasing an additional 2,675,042 shares during the period. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC bought a new position in shares of NiSource during the second quarter worth approximately $63,874,000. Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its holdings in shares of NiSource by 218.4% during the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 2,319,929 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $55,191,000 after purchasing an additional 1,591,281 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of NiSource by 349.2% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,981,096 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $50,247,000 after buying an additional 1,540,050 shares in the last quarter. 81.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NiSource (NI) traded down 0.31% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $25.51. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,618,759 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $26.59 and a 200-day moving average price of $25.45. The stock has a market cap of $8.31 billion, a PE ratio of 29.59 and a beta of 0.37. NiSource has a 1-year low of $21.17 and a 1-year high of $27.29.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.10 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.10. The business had revenue of $990.70 million during 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 in the prior year, the company posted $0.09 earnings per share. Analysts predict that NiSource will post $1.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 20th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.175 per share. This represents a $0.70 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.74%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 30th. NiSource’s dividend payout ratio is presently 81.40%.

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NiSource Company Profile

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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