NiSource Second Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

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S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component NiSource (NYSE:NI) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. NiSource is an energy holding company that provides natural gas, electricity, and other products and services to customers in the U.S.

NiSource Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for net income of 20 cents per share, a rise of 17.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 21 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 20 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 10.7% compared to last year’s $1.45.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped estimates last quarter after missing forecasts the quarter prior. In the first quarter, it reported profit of 73 cents per share against a mean estimate of net income of 72 cents per share. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, it missed forecasts by 5 cents.

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A Look Back: In the first quarter, profit fell 5.8% to $193.4 million (66 cents a share) from $205.2 million (72 cents a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue fell 25.7% to $1.66 billion from $2.23 billion.

Stock Price Performance: From June 26, 2012 to July 25, 2012, the stock price rose 86 cents (3.5%), from $24.26 to $25.12. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between September 9, 2011 and September 20, 2011, when shares rose for eight straight days, increasing 7.1% (+$1.49) 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, dropping 5.9% (-$1.41) over that span.

Analyst Ratings: There are mostly holds on the stock with six of seven analysts surveyed giving that rating.

Key Stats:

An income boost this time around would be welcome news after profit declines in the past two quarters. Net income dropped 39.2% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and then again in the first quarter.

On the top line, the company is hoping to use this earnings announcement to snap a string of three-straight quarters of revenue declines. Revenue fell 6.1% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 15.1% in fourth quarter of the last fiscal year before falling again in the first quarter.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.19 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 0.8% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $5.78 billion for the year, a decline of 0.2% from last year’s revenue of $5.79 billion.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 0.53 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, a ratio less than one could indicate a company may have difficulty meeting current obligations. The company regressed in this liquidity measure from 0.62 in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year to the last quarter driven in part by a decrease in current assets. Current assets decreased 12.4% to $1.97 billion while liabilities rose by 2% to $3.72 billion.

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

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