Comparing NiSource (NI) and Its Peers

NiSource (NYSE: NI) is one of 21 public companies in the “Multiline Utilities” industry, but how does it contrast to its peers? We will compare NiSource to similar companies based on the strength of its earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, valuation and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares NiSource and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
NiSource 5.96% 9.17% 2.00%
NiSource Competitors 8.68% 8.64% 1.99%

Volatility & Risk

NiSource has a beta of 0.39, indicating that its share price is 61% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, NiSource’s peers have a beta of 0.61, indicating that their average share price is 39% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

82.0% of NiSource shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.3% of shares of all “Multiline Utilities” companies are held by institutional investors. 0.4% of NiSource shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.1% of shares of all “Multiline Utilities” companies are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares NiSource and its peers revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
NiSource $4.75 billion $1.40 billion 31.15
NiSource Competitors $8.13 billion $2.16 billion 21.01

NiSource’s peers have higher revenue and earnings than NiSource. NiSource is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for NiSource and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
NiSource 0 5 7 0 2.58
NiSource Competitors 360 1059 828 9 2.22

NiSource currently has a consensus target price of $26.79, suggesting a potential downside of 0.02%. As a group, “Multiline Utilities” companies have a potential upside of 5.40%. Given NiSource’s peers higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe NiSource has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Dividends

NiSource pays an annual dividend of $0.70 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. NiSource pays out 81.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. As a group, “Multiline Utilities” companies pay a dividend yield of 3.0% and pay out 71.1% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. NiSource lags its peers as a dividend stock, given its lower dividend yield and higher payout ratio.

Summary

NiSource peers beat NiSource on 9 of the 15 factors compared.

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. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s Electric Operations segment provided electric services in 20 counties in the northern part of Indiana. The Company’s electric operations segment generated, transmitted and distributed electricity through the Company’s subsidiary NIPSCO to approximately 466,000 customers in 20 counties in the northern part of Indiana and engaged in wholesale and transmission transactions, as of December 31, 2016. NIPSCO owned and operated three coal-fired electric generating stations, as of December 31, 2016.

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