NiSource Inc (NI): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

NiSource ( NI) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, NiSource rose $0.49 (1.5%) to $32.95 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3,924,829 shares of NiSource exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,131,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $32.39-$33.30 after having opened the day at $32.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.46. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), up 11.3%, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN), up 6.2%, Cadiz ( CDZI), up 5.5% and Just Energy Group ( JE), up 2.9%.

NiSource Inc., an energy holding company, through its subsidiaries, provides natural gas, electricity, and other products and services. It operates in three segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Transmission and Storage Operations, and Electric Operations. NiSource has a market cap of $10.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate NiSource a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NiSource as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Fuelcell Energy ( FCEL), down 4.7%, Transportadora de Gas del Sur ( TGS), down 3.8%, U.S. Geothermal ( HTM), down 3.2% and Clean Energy Fuels Corporation ( CLNE), down 2.8% , were all laggards within the utilities sector with ITC Holdings ( ITC) being today's utilities sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the utilities sector could consider Utilities Select Sector SPDR ( XLU) while those bearish on the utilities sector could consider ProShares UltraShort Utilities ( SDP).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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