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Why Is NiSource (NI) Up 4.1% 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 4.1% 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 catalysts.

NiSource Q3 Earnings Surpass Estimates, Increase Y/Y

NiSource reported operating earnings of 10 cents per share in third-quarter 2018, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 6 cents by 66.7%. Earnings increased 42.8% from the year-ago quarter.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported loss of 95 cents, including adjustments of $1.05 per share.

Highlights of the Release

NiSource's third-quarter GAAP results were adversely impacted by the gas distribution system incident that occurred on Sep 13, 2018, in the Greater Lawrence, Massachusetts. The incident includes $461.9 million of expenses.

Under the gas infrastructure modernization programs, NiSource replaced nearly 400 miles of pipelines and around 40,000 customer service lines to date in 2018 across gas distribution systems in seven states.

Guidance & Long-Term Plans

NiSource is on track to invest $1.7-$1.8 billion in its utility infrastructure capital programs and deliver operating earnings of $1.26-$1.32 per share in 2018.

The company expects to invest $1.6-$1.8 billion and grow net operating earnings per share (non-GAAP) and dividend by 5-7% each year through 2020.

 

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Fresh estimates followed a downward path over the past two months.

VGM Scores

Currently, NiSource has a nice Growth Score of B, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. However, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% 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.

Outlook

NiSource has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.




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