NiSource Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component NiSource, Inc. (NYSE:NI) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. NiSource is an energy holding company that provides natural gas, electricity, and other products and services to customers in the U.S.

NiSource, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 35 cents per share, a rise of 2.9% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 36 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It has since dropped over the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 11.6% versus last year to $1.35.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last two quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped the forecasts by one cent, reporting profit of 11 cents per share against a mean estimate of net income of 10 cents. In the second quarter, the company exceeded forecasts by 3 cents with profit of 17 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 14 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.54 billion in revenue this quarter, a decline of 7.8% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $6.15 billion for the year, a rise of 5.7% from last year’s revenue of $5.82 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about NiSource with seven of seven analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 4.5% to $34.7 million (12 cents a share) from $33.2 million (12 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue fell 6.1% to $1.07 billion from $1.14 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 38.4% in the second quarter and 4% in the first quarter.

Revenue fell in the third quarter after seeing a rise the quarter before. In the second quarter, revenue rose 4.9%.

Competitors to Watch: Ameren Corporation (NYSE:AEE), CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP), Unitil Corporation (NYSE:UTL), Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE:D), NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NWE), Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE:ED), CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE:CMS), Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE), and Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE:TEG).

Stock Price Performance: During November 28, 2011 to January 26, 2012, the stock price had risen $1.86 (8.6%) from $21.51 to $23.37. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 19, 2011 and May 4, 2011 when shares rose for 11-straight days, rising 6.8% (+$1.24) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between December 29, 2011 and January 11, 2012 when shares fell for nine-straight days, falling 5.9% (-$1.41) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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