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NiSource's (NI) Q3 Earnings In Line, Keeps '17 EPS Outlook

NiSource Inc. NI reported third-quarter 2017 operating earnings of 7 cents per share, which came in-line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, earnings increased 16.7% year over year.

The company reported GAAP income of 4 cents per share compared with 7 cents in the year-ago period. The difference between the GAAP and operating earnings was due to a 3 cents impact of one-time non-recurring items.

Revenues

In third-quarter 2017, NiSource’s reported GAAP gross revenues of $917 million compared to $861.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

Additionally, it reported adjusted revenue of $920.2 million compared with $853.9 million in the prior-year quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the reported quarter was pegged at of $901 million.

Highlights of the Release

For the Electric Operations, Northern Indiana Public Service Company (“NIPSCO”) continues to execute on its seven-year electric infrastructure modernization program.The IURC-approved program represents approximately $1.25 billion of electric infrastructure investments expected to be made through 2022. On Oct 31, 2017, the IURC approved NIPSCO's latest tracker update request, covering approximately $133 million in investments from May 2016 through April 2017.

For the Gas Distribution Operations, NIPSCO continues to execute its seven-year, $850 million gas infrastructure modernization program to improve system reliability and safety. New rates under NIPSCO's semi-annual tracker update took effect on Jul 1, 2017. The latest update, covering approximately $58 million of investments that were made in first-half 2017, was filed on Aug 31, 2017.

Moreover, NIPSCO filed a gas base rate case with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) on Sep 27, 2017. Inclusive of various tracker programs, the case seeks an annual revenue increase of $143.5 million for the company. An order for the rate case is expected in the second half of 2018.

NiSource, Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Guidance

NiSource has maintained its 2017 adjusted earnings guidance in the range of $1.17-$1.20 per share. .

The company also remains on track to complete $1.6-$1.8 billion of planned utility infrastructure investments through 2020, of which it plans to invest $1.6-$1.7 billion in 2017.

For 2018, the company has initiated its guidance. NiSource expects to generate adjusted earnings in the range of $1.26-$1.32 per share and invest capital worth $1.7-$1.8 billion in 2018.

Zacks Rank

NiSource carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Peer Releases

WEC Energy Group WEC reported third-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 68 cents per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 67 cents by 1.5%.

NextEra Energy, Inc. NEE reported third-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of $1.85 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.75 by 5.7%.

American Electric Power Co., Inc. AEP reported third-quarter 2017 operating earnings of  $1.10 per share, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.19 by 7.6%.

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