NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of NiSource (NI) - Get Report were down in early-morning trading on Friday as Credit Suisse cut its rating on the stock to "underperform" from "neutral."

The firm has a $25 price target on shares of the Merrillville, IN-based utility company.

"While NI has attractive qualities such as strong visibility to future growth prospects and a relatively benign regulatory environment in which it operates, NI appears expensive relative to its own history, expensive relative to utilities, and expensive relative to our MLP coverage," Credit Suisse wrote in a note this morning.

Although NiSource stock is expensive, defensively-oriented business models that pay a meaningful dividend continue to attract capital due to the very low yield environment that income-oriented investors are confronting, the firm noted.

The company and other utilities could be viewed as fairly valued from an income standpoint and could continue to attract yield-seeking capital, according to Credit Suisse.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of B on the stock.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and reasonable valuation levels.

The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that were evaluated.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: NI

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