NiSource (NI) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

NiSource (NYSE:NI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of NiSource have gained higher than the industry it belongs to in the last 12 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 2019 to 2020 and has identified long-term infrastructure investments worth $30 billion. The company is also working actively to reduce its carbon footprint by bringing down the coal usage. Despite investing in upgrade programs, NiSource Inc. faces the risk of disruption in operation from its ageing infrastructure. NiSource’s rising debt level amid increasing interest rates is another concern.”

NI has been the subject of several other reports. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $29.50 price objective on shares of NiSource in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $26.00 price objective on shares of NiSource in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Citigroup upped their price objective on NiSource from $28.00 to $31.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 20th. Credit Suisse Group upped their price objective on NiSource from $29.00 to $30.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, Edward Jones raised NiSource from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $27.41.

NiSource (NYSE NI) traded down $0.06 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $24.07. The stock had a trading volume of 2,654,053 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,930,011. NiSource has a fifty-two week low of $21.65 and a fifty-two week high of $27.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72, a current ratio of 0.52 and a quick ratio of 0.32. The stock has a market cap of $8,110.00, a P/E ratio of 29.00, a P/E/G ratio of 3.27 and a beta of 0.43.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.07 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.07. The firm had revenue of $917.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $901.00 million. NiSource had a return on equity of 1.32% and a net margin of 1.53%. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.06 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that NiSource will post 1.2 earnings per share for the current year.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Tortoise Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in NiSource during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $113,000. First Quadrant L P CA acquired a new position in NiSource during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $114,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in NiSource during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $114,000. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its holdings in shares of NiSource by 4.4% in the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 4,740 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the period. Finally, TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of NiSource by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 6,078 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $154,000 after acquiring an additional 24 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 82.19% of the company’s stock.

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About NiSource

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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