T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. (I.. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Utilities company by 20.20% to 69.05 million shares with purchase of 11.6 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 18.04% valued currently at $1.69 billion. In addition, Newport Trust Co. raised its holdings by 32507.0 to 8.26 million shares. And Brookfield Public Securities Grou.. has lifted its position by 83.77% or 3.1 million shares – to 6.81 million shares.

With over 3.27 million NiSource Inc. (NI) shares trading Tuesday and a closing price of $21.39 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $70.05 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -5.94% and its price on 09/01/20 lost nearly -3.47%. Currently, there are 383.50M common shares owned by the public and among those 381.62M shares have been available to trade.

An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 14 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for NI have a consensus price objective of $26.23. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $28.00 and a low of $24.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the NiSource Inc. stock is 2.10 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 18.51% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock gain 10.87% over that period. But an upside of 23.61% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $26.00.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 53 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 38 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 522,757 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 15 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 164,247 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in NiSource Inc. are T Rowe Price Capital Appreciation, T Rowe Price Equity Income Fund, and Vanguard Total Stock Market Index. T Rowe Price Capital Appreciation owns 21.5 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $525.6 million. The company bought an additional 3.79 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 5.62% of the shares outstanding. T Rowe Price Equity Income Fund bought 1.13 million shares to see its total holdings expand to 12.23 million shares valued at over $299.02 million and representing 3.20% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 4816.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 10.9 million shares at a value of $266.54 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index now owns shares totaling to 2.85% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) opened at $22.05, down -$0.11 from a prior closing price of $22.16. However, the script later closed the day at $21.39, down -3.47%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -5.94% and -15.52% over the past three months. NI shares are trading -23.17% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -28.84% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $19.56 and touched a high of $30.67 over the same period. Currently, 3.27 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 2.90 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -9.22%, -9.44%, and -16.36% respectively.

Institutional ownership of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) shares accounts for 94.40% of the company’s 383.50M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 34.13%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 56.37% and 1.63% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $8.13B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.22. The earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at -$0.31. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.46% over the week and 2.31% over the month.

Analysts forecast that NiSource Inc. (NI) will achieve an EPS of $0.03 for the current quarter, $0.17 for the next quarter and $1.34 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$0.02 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.06. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 574.10%, and 3.88% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 1.81% over the next five years, compared to 1.50% over the past 5-year period.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 14 brokerage firm advisors rate NiSource Inc. (NI) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.10. Specifically, 8 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 5 of the 14 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the NI, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. BofA/Merrill stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on April 30, 2020, with the firm’s price target at. Jefferies coverage for the NiSource Inc. (NI) stock in a research note released on April 24, 2020 offered a Hold rating with a price target of $28. Jefferies was of a view on March 18, 2020 that the stock is Buy, while Barclays gave the stock Equal Weight rating on March 12, 2020, issuing a price target of $31. Credit Suisse on their part issued Outperform rating on February 28, 2020.