NiSource, Inc (NYSE:NI) has earned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the fifteen analysts that are covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price target among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $26.75.

NI has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $29.50 price objective on shares of NiSource in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Credit Suisse Group raised shares of NiSource from an “underperform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $25.00 to $29.00 in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of NiSource from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $23.00 target price on shares of NiSource in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co increased their target price on shares of NiSource from $25.00 to $27.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th.

In other NiSource news, Director Michael E. Jesanis bought 2,000 shares of NiSource stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 14th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $26.44 per share, for a total transaction of $52,880.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 34,195 shares in the company, valued at approximately $904,115.80. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its position in shares of NiSource by 4.4% during the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 4,740 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $120,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co raised its position in shares of NiSource by 454.0% during the 2nd quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 5,839 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $148,000 after acquiring an additional 4,785 shares in the last quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of NiSource by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 6,078 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $154,000 after acquiring an additional 24 shares in the last quarter. Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp acquired a new stake in shares of NiSource during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Finally, Conning Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of NiSource during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $206,000. 81.94% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Shares of NiSource (NYSE NI) traded down 0.37% on Friday, reaching $26.66. 1,847,664 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $26.32 and its 200-day moving average price is $25.68. NiSource has a 52 week low of $21.17 and a 52 week high of $27.29. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.93 and a beta of 0.36.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.10 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.10. NiSource had a net margin of 5.96% and a return on equity of 9.17%. The company had revenue of $990.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $934.95 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.09 EPS. Equities analysts predict that NiSource will post $1.19 EPS for the current year.

The firm 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 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, October 30th. NiSource’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 81.40%.

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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