NiSource (NYSE:NI) Downgraded by Goldman Sachs Group

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Goldman Sachs Group lowered shares of NiSource (NYSE:NI) from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Friday, September 21st, The Fly reports. They currently have $29.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

A number of other brokerages have also commented on NI. Evercore ISI lowered NiSource from an in-line rating to an underperform rating in a research note on Friday, September 14th. Zacks Investment Research lowered NiSource from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 17th. Guggenheim cut NiSource from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Monday, September 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $27.00 price target on NiSource and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, September 17th. Finally, KeyCorp upped their price target on NiSource from $26.00 to $27.00 and gave the company a $26.15 rating in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $27.18.

NiSource stock traded down $0.34 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $24.31. 2,936,098 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,433,458. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.05 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.09, a PEG ratio of 3.51 and a beta of 0.17. 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 has a 12 month low of $22.44 and a 12 month high of $28.11.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.09 by ($0.02). NiSource had a return on equity of 9.19% and a net margin of 5.20%. The company had revenue of $1.01 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $999.39 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.10 EPS. Sell-side analysts anticipate that NiSource will post 1.29 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 20th. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 31st will be issued a $0.195 dividend. This represents a $0.78 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.21%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 30th. NiSource’s dividend payout ratio is 64.46%.

In other news, CFO Donald Eugene Brown sold 2,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.50, for a total transaction of $63,600.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 49,167 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,302,925.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Carrie J. Hightman sold 27,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.75, for a total value of $722,250.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 325,066 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,695,515.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.37% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of NI. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of NiSource during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $104,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC bought a new position in shares of NiSource during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $105,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of NiSource during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $110,000. Parallel Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of NiSource by 286.6% during the 2nd quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 4,701 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $123,000 after acquiring an additional 3,485 shares during the period. Finally, Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp bought a new position in shares of NiSource during the 1st quarter worth approximately $210,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.64% 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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