A look into NiSource Inc. (NI)’s deeper side

NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) stock jumped 0.74% on Friday to $28.62 against a previous-day closing price of $28.41. With 3.52 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 3.6 million shares. During the session, the Utilities – Regulated Gas company that operates in wider Utilities sector, reached to the highest price of $28.78 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $28.16. The 52-week range on NI shows that it touched its highest point at $32.58 and its lowest point at $23.65 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $32.46. With its current market cap of 11.67 billion, NI has annualized dividend of $0.94 while the current yield stands at 3.28%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.38.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of NI was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -1.17%, but this was down by -6.99% over a month. Three-month performance surged to 2.91% while six-month performance fell -5.39%. The stock gained 18.61% in the past year, while it has gained 3.66% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for NI yields 1.54 with Next year EPS estimates of 1.55. For the next quarter, that number is 0.12. This implies an EPS growth rate of 773.10% for this year and 6.75% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 7.30% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 4.40%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 406.40 million NI shares are outstanding with a float of 404.41 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 14.22 million, which was 3.50% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Lloyd M. Yates as the firm’s Pres, CEO & Director, Mr. Donald Eugene Brown serves as its Exec. VP & CFO.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 95.53% of NI’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 52.53% of NI, in contrast to 44.39% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 1.68%. As the largest shareholder in NI with 12.78% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 51,866,538 shares worth 51,866,538. A second-largest stockholder of NI, BlackRock Fund Advisors, holds 30,673,319 shares, controlling over 7.56% of the firm’s shares. T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. is the third largest shareholder in NI, holding 27,245,143 shares or 6.71% stake. With a 2.94% stake in NI, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is the largest stakeholder. A total of 11,945,803 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund, which owns about 2.30% of NI stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 9,317,214 shares valued at 274.95 million. Vanguard 500 Index Fund holds 2.23% of the stake in NI, owning 9,051,189 shares worth 267.1 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for NI since 13 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 9 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 3 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 1 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With NI analysts setting a high price target of $34.00 and a low target of $30.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $32.73. Based on these targets, NI could surge 18.8% to reach the target high and rise by 4.82% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 14.36% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. NI will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/22/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $1.46 being high and $1.44 being low. For NI, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $1.45. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. NiSource Inc. surprised analysts by -$0.00 when it reported $0.12 EPS against a consensus estimate of $0.12. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was -$0.02. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $0.15 and the low estimate is $0.10. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.13.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded NI stock several times over the past three months with 4 Buys and 0 Sells. In these transactions, 78,347 shares were bought while 0 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 35 while that of sell transactions has risen to 14 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 315,067 while 43,266 shares were sold.

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