NiSource, Inc (NYSE:NI)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by Jefferies Group LLC in a research note issued to investors on Friday. They presently have a $23.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Jefferies Group LLC’s price objective would suggest a potential downside of 10.68% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of NiSource from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 1st. Zelman & Associates lowered shares of NiSource from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services started coverage on shares of NiSource in a research report on Friday, May 19th. They set a “buy” rating and a $27.00 target price for the company. Finally, Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and set a $26.00 target price (up from $25.00) on shares of NiSource in a research note on Thursday, June 1st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $25.78.

Shares of NiSource (NYSE NI) traded up 1.58% on Friday, reaching $25.75. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,707,108 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $8.36 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.54 and a beta of 0.37. NiSource has a 12-month low of $21.17 and a 12-month high of $26.94. The company’s 50-day moving average is $25.56 and its 200 day moving average is $23.72.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 18th. Investors of record on Monday, July 31st will be issued a $0.175 dividend. This represents a $0.70 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.72%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 27th. NiSource’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 64.22%.

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In other NiSource news, CFO Donald Eugene Brown sold 6,906 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.51, for a total transaction of $176,172.06. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 141,168 shares in the company, valued at $3,601,195.68. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Violet Sistovaris sold 38,550 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.25, for a total value of $934,837.50. Following the sale, the executive vice president now 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 three months, insiders sold 89,981 shares of company stock valued at $2,191,779. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in NiSource by 2,428.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 23,705,566 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $563,954,000 after buying an additional 22,768,084 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in NiSource by 70.3% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 17,428,785 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $414,632,000 after buying an additional 7,194,018 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in NiSource by 8.4% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,161,227 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $75,093,000 after buying an additional 244,793 shares during the period. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in NiSource by 7.0% in the fourth quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,575,579 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $57,023,000 after buying an additional 167,400 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its stake in NiSource by 47.9% in the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,565,645 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $61,037,000 after buying an additional 831,460 shares during the period. 82.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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