NiSource Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:NI)

NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI) saw unusually large options trading on Thursday. Stock traders purchased 940 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,346% compared to the average daily volume of 65 put options.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded NiSource from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 16th. Goldman Sachs Group raised NiSource from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $26.00 to $29.00 in a research report on Monday, April 8th. ValuEngine raised NiSource from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 1st. Bank of America lowered NiSource from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $27.37 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, April 22nd. Finally, TheStreet raised NiSource from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $27.87.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NI. First Republic Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of NiSource by 3.0% during the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 13,113 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $376,000 after acquiring an additional 380 shares during the last quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. raised its position in NiSource by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 9,826 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $249,000 after acquiring an additional 414 shares during the period. Commerce Bank increased its stake in shares of NiSource by 3.6% in the first quarter. Commerce Bank now owns 14,090 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $404,000 after purchasing an additional 489 shares in the last quarter. Bollard Group LLC grew its stake in NiSource by 0.7% during the first quarter. Bollard Group LLC now owns 77,548 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,223,000 after acquiring an additional 505 shares in the last quarter. Finally, LPL Financial LLC grew its stake in NiSource by 2.3% during the fourth quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 22,766 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $577,000 after acquiring an additional 518 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.92% of the company’s stock.

NI stock traded up $0.19 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $28.80. 3,556,867 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,805,472. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $28.47. The company has a market cap of $10.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.15, a PEG ratio of 3.72 and a beta of 0.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.45, a quick ratio of 0.42 and a current ratio of 0.48. NiSource has a one year low of $24.19 and a one year high of $29.75.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $1.86 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.84 billion. NiSource had a positive return on equity of 10.76% and a negative net margin of 2.06%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.77 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that NiSource will post 1.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 20th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.20 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 30th. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.78%. NiSource’s payout ratio is currently 61.54%.

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 for residential, commercial, and industrial customers; generates, transmits, and distributes electricity; and wholesale and transmission transaction services.

Featured Article: What is the downside to momentum investing?

Receive News & Ratings for NiSource Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for NiSource and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.