Goldman Sachs Group downgraded shares of NiSource (NYSE:NI) from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, September 21st, The Fly reports. The firm currently has $29.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of NiSource from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, May 31st. ValuEngine downgraded shares of NiSource from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, June 6th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of NiSource from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $30.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 3rd. Barclays began coverage on shares of NiSource in a report on Tuesday, July 10th. They set an equal weight rating and a $27.00 price target for the company. Finally, KeyCorp upped their price target on shares of NiSource from $26.00 to $27.00 and gave the stock a $26.15 rating in a report on Thursday, July 19th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $27.18.

Shares of NYSE:NI traded down $0.34 on Friday, reaching $24.31. 2,936,098 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,433,458. NiSource has a twelve month low of $22.44 and a twelve month high of $28.11. The firm has a market cap of $9.05 billion, a PE ratio of 20.09, a PEG ratio of 3.51 and a beta of 0.17. The company has a quick ratio of 0.38, a current ratio of 0.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.09 by ($0.02). NiSource had a return on equity of 9.19% and a net margin of 5.20%. The business had revenue of $1.01 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $999.39 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.10 EPS. On average, research analysts expect that NiSource will post 1.29 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 20th. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 31st will be paid a $0.195 dividend. This represents a $0.78 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.21%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 30th. NiSource’s payout ratio is 64.46%.

In other NiSource news, CFO Donald Eugene Brown sold 2,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.50, for a total value of $63,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 49,167 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,302,925.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Carrie J. Hightman sold 27,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.75, for a total transaction of $722,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 325,066 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,695,515.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.37% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI acquired a new stake in shares of NiSource during the second quarter worth $3,355,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in shares of NiSource by 9.8% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,528,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $40,158,000 after buying an additional 136,500 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE increased its position in shares of NiSource by 5.4% during the second quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 62,592 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,645,000 after buying an additional 3,209 shares during the period. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System increased its position in shares of NiSource by 0.8% during the second quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 492,916 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $12,954,000 after buying an additional 3,817 shares during the period. Finally, Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of NiSource during the second quarter worth $232,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.64% of the company’s stock.

NiSource Company Profile

NiSource Inc, an energy holding company, operates as a regulated natural gas and electric utility company in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Gas Distribution Operations and Electric Operations. It provides natural gas service and transportation to residential, commercial, and industrial customers; generates, transmits, and distributes electricity; and offers wholesale and transmission transaction services.

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