NiSource, Inc (NYSE:NI) has received a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the fourteen analysts that are covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, seven have given a hold recommendation and six have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year target price among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $25.75.

NI has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of NiSource from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 31st. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $23.00 price target on shares of NiSource in a report on Friday, March 31st. Zelman & Associates downgraded shares of NiSource from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 30th. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services initiated coverage on shares of NiSource in a report on Friday, May 19th. They set a “buy” rating and a $27.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Barclays PLC reissued an “equal weight” rating and set a $26.00 price target (up from $25.00) on shares of NiSource in a report on Thursday, June 1st.

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In other NiSource news, COO Jimmie L. Stanley sold 37,325 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.11, for a total transaction of $899,905.75. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 315,471 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,606,005.81. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Violet Sistovaris sold 38,550 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.25, for a total transaction of $934,837.50. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 185,186 shares in the company, valued at $4,490,760.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 89,981 shares of company stock worth $2,191,779. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of NI. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. increased its position in 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 during the last quarter. Balasa Dinverno & Foltz LLC boosted its stake in shares of NiSource by 0.3% in the first quarter. Balasa Dinverno & Foltz LLC now owns 21,364 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $508,000 after buying an additional 68 shares during the period. Level Four Advisory Services LLC boosted its stake in shares of NiSource by 0.5% in the first quarter. Level Four Advisory Services LLC now owns 16,299 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $388,000 after buying an additional 76 shares during the period. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS boosted its stake in shares of NiSource by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 18,501 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $410,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Finally, Lynch & Associates IN boosted its stake in shares of NiSource by 0.6% in the first quarter. Lynch & Associates IN now owns 21,069 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $501,000 after buying an additional 125 shares during the period. 82.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) traded up 0.38% on Monday, hitting $26.16. 291,095 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $25.14 and its 200 day moving average is $23.45. NiSource has a 52 week low of $21.17 and a 52 week high of $26.94. The company has a market capitalization of $8.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.91 and a beta of 0.34.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.06. NiSource had a net margin of 7.65% and a return on equity of 9.18%. The firm had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.51 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.62 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that NiSource will post $1.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 18th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.175 per share. This represents a $0.70 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.69%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 27th. NiSource’s payout ratio is 64.22%.

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.

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