Somewhat Favorable Press Coverage Very Likely to Impact NiSource (NI) Stock Price

Headlines about NiSource (NYSE:NI) have been trending somewhat positive on Friday, according to Alpha One Sentiment. The research firm, a unit of Accern, identifies positive and negative news coverage by reviewing more than twenty million blog and news sources in real-time. Alpha One ranks coverage of companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. NiSource earned a news sentiment score of 0.22 on Alpha One’s scale. Alpha One also gave news articles about the utilities provider an impact score of 84 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is very likely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the immediate future.

Here are some of the media stories that may have effected AlphaOne’s rankings:

Shares of NiSource (NYSE:NI) traded up 0.29% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $24.19. 5,713,570 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. NiSource has a 52-week low of $21.17 and a 52-week high of $26.94. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $23.69 and a 200 day moving average price of $22.69. The firm has a market cap of $7.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.69 and a beta of 0.29.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 22nd. The utilities provider reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $1.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.04 billion. NiSource had a net margin of 6.87% and a return on equity of 8.76%. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.31 EPS. Analysts forecast that NiSource will post $1.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 19th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 28th will be given a dividend of $0.175 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, April 26th. This represents a $0.70 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.89%. NiSource’s payout ratio is currently 76.09%.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $23.00 target price on shares of NiSource in a research report on Friday, March 31st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of NiSource from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $26.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, March 10th. Finally, Guggenheim upgraded shares of NiSource from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, January 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. NiSource presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $25.09.

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In other NiSource news, EVP Carrie J. Hightman sold 24,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.28, for a total transaction of $558,720.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 409,199 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,526,152.72. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP Joseph W. Mulpas sold 13,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.28, for a total transaction of $302,640.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 37,889 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $882,055.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:NI

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