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NiSource (NI) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Rise Y/Y

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NiSource Inc. (NI - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2021 operating earnings per share (EPS) of 39 cents, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 38 cents by 3%. The bottom line also improved 15% from the year-ago quarter’s earnings of 34 cents per share.

On a GAAP basis, NiSource reported fourth-quarter 2021 operating EPS of 36 cents, up 100% from 18 cents.

NiSource reported operating EPS of $1.37 in 2021, up 3.8% from $1.32 in 2020. Total revenues also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.35 per share by 15%.

Total Revenues

Operating revenues of $1,408.6 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,465 million by 3.8%. However, the top line improved 16% from $1,211 million in the prior-year quarter.

NiSource reported total revenues of $4,899.6million in 2021, up 2.2% from $4,681.7 million in 2020, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,940 million by 0.8%

NiSource, Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

NiSource, Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

NiSource, Inc price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | NiSource, Inc Quote

Highlights of the Release

Total operating expenses for the fourth quarter amounted to $1,118.5 million, up 17% from the year-ago quarter’s $954.9 million, due to the higher cost of energy, operating and maintenance trackers and taxes.

Operating income was $304 million, up 19.2% from the year-ago figure of $255.1 million.

Net interest expenses in the reported quarter were up 2.3% from the prior-year quarter’s figure to $87.6 million.

In the reported quarter, NI reached a settlement for the Columbia Gas of Kentucky 2021 base rate case. The settlement increased revenues by $18.3 million and will continue to support investments in safety and replace the aging infrastructure.

Financial Update

NiSource's cash and cash equivalents as of Dec 31, 2021 were $84.2 million, down from $116.5 million as of Dec 31, 2020.

Long-term debts (excluding amounts due within a year) as of Dec 31, 2021 were $9,183.4 million compared with $9,219.8 million as of Dec 31, 2020.

Net cash flows from operating activities in 2021 were $1,218 million compared with $1,104 million in 2020.

Guidance

NiSource reiterated the 2022 non-GAAP net operating earnings guidance in the range of $1.42-$1.48 and expects earnings to witness a CAGR of 7-9% from 2021 through 2024, including a near-term annual growth rate of 5-7% through 2023.

NiSource plans to make capital investments of nearly $10 billion during the 2021-2024 period. Through 2024, the utility anticipates investing the $1.9-$2.2 billion range annually in growth, safety and modernization along with $2 billion in renewable-generation assets. These investments are likely to improve the rate base, which is likely to witness a CAGR of 10-12% for each of NI’s businesses until 2024.

Zacks Rank

NiSource currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can seethe complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Upcoming Releases

American Electric Power (AEP - Free Report) is slated to report fourth-quarter 2021 earnings on Feb 24 before market open. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter’s EPS is pegged at 94 cents.

American Electric Power’s long-term (three to five years) earnings growth is currently pegged at 5.65%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AEP’s 2022 earnings implies year-over-year growth of 6.17%.

Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG - Free Report) is slated to report fourth-quarter 2021 earnings on Feb 24 before market open. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter’s EPS is pegged at 68 cents.

Public Service Enterprise’s long-term earnings growth is currently pegged at 3.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for PEG’s 2021 earnings implies year-over-year growth of 6.4%.

Algonquin Power & Utilities (AQN - Free Report) is slated to report fourth-quarter 2021 earnings on Mar 3 after market close. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter’s EPS is pegged at 21 cents.

Algonquin Power & Utilities’ long-term earnings growth is currently pegged at 8.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AQN’s 2022 earnings implies year-over-year growth of 4.5%.