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Why Is NiSource (NI) Up 3.3% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for NiSource (NI - Free Report) . Shares have added about 3.3% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is NiSource due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

NiSource's  Q2 Earnings Miss Estimates, Decline Y/Y

NiSource reported second-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 7 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 9 cents by 22.2%. Earnings declined 30% from the year-ago quarter’s tally.

Highlights of the Release

NiSource is on track to invest $1.7-$1.8 billion in its utility infrastructure capital programs in 2018.

On Apr 25, 2018, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved Columbia Gas of Ohio's (COH) annual Infrastructure Replacement Program tracker adjustment. Cost recovery of nearly $207 million of infrastructure investments made in 2017 began from the May billing cycle.

NIPSCO's two major electric transmission projects — Greentown-Reynolds and Reynolds-Topeka — were completed and placed into service in June 2018.

Guidance

NiSource reiterated 2018 capital utility infrastructure investment view at $1.7-$1.8 billion and earnings per share (EPS) guidance at $1.26-$1.32.
 

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, fresh estimates have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted 25% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, NiSource has an average Growth Score of C, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with an A. However, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Based on our scores, the stock is more suitable for momentum investors than those looking for value and growth.

Outlook

Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, NiSource has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.




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