NiSource (NI) Fourth Quarter Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenue Increases Year-over-Year

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NiSource Inc.. NI reported fourth-quarter 2021 operating earnings per share (EPS) of 39 cents, which beat Zacks’ consensus estimate of 38 cents by 3%. Net income also improved 15% from quarterly earnings of 34 cents per share a year earlier.

On a GAAP basis, NiSource reported operating EPS of 36 cents for the fourth quarter of 2021, up 100% from 18 cents.

NiSource reported operating EPS of $1.37 in 2021, up 3.8% from $1.32 in 2020. Total revenue also exceeded Zacks consensus estimate of 15%, $35 per share.

Total revenue

Operating revenue of $1,408.6 million beat Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1,465 million by 3.8%. However, revenue improved 16% from $1,211 million in the year-ago quarter.

NiSource reported total revenue of $4,899.6 million in 2021, up 2.2% from $4,681.7 million in 2020, which missed the Zacks consensus estimate by 4 $940 million 0.8%

NiSource, Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

NiSource, Inc price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Quote from NiSource, Inc.

Release Highlights

Total operating expenses for the fourth quarter were $1,118.5 million, up 17% from $954.9 million in the prior year quarter, due to higher cost of energy, operation and maintenance trackers and taxes.

Operating profit was $304 million, up 19.2% from $255.1 million a year earlier.

Net interest expense in the reported quarter increased 2.3% from the prior year quarter figure to $87.6 million.

During the reported quarter, NI reached a settlement for the 2021 Columbia Gas of Kentucky base rate case. The settlement increased revenue by $18.3 million and will continue to support safety investments and replace aging infrastructure.

Financial update

NiSource’s cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2021 were $84.2 million, compared to $116.5 million as of December 31, 2020.

Long-term debt (excluding amounts due within one year) as at December 31, 2021 amounted to $9,183.4 million, compared to $9,219.8 million as at December 31, 2020.

Free cash flow from operating activities in 2021 was $1,218 million, compared to $1,104 million in 2020.

Advice

NiSource reiterated non-GAAP net operating income guidance for 2022 in the range of $1.42 to $1.48 and expects earnings to see a CAGR of 7-9% from 2021 to 2024, including a short-term annual growth rate of 5-7% through 2023.

NiSource expects to make capital investments of nearly $10 billion over the 2021-2024 period. Through 2024, the utility plans to invest between $1.9 billion and $2.2 billion annually in growth, safety and modernization, as well as $2 billion in renewable power generation assets . These investments are likely to improve the rate base, which is expected to see a CAGR of 10-12% for each of NI’s businesses through 2024.

Zacks Rank

NiSource currently has a Zacks rank of #2 (buy). You can seethe full list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Upcoming releases

American Electric Power AEP is expected to release its fourth quarter 2021 results on February 24 before the market opens. The Zacks consensus estimate for fourth-quarter EPS is pegged at 94 cents.

Long-term (three to five years) earnings growth for American Electric Power is currently pegged at 5.65%. The Zacks consensus estimate for AEP earnings in 2022 implies 6.17% year-over-year growth.

Public Service Enterprise Group PEG is expected to release its fourth quarter 2021 results on February 24 before the market opens. The Zacks consensus estimate for fourth-quarter EPS is pegged at 68 cents.

Long-term earnings growth for utilities is currently pegged at 3.6%. Zacks consensus estimate for PEG earnings in 2021 implies 6.4% year-over-year growth.

Algonquin Power & Utilities AQN is expected to release its fourth quarter 2021 results on March 3 after market close. The Zacks consensus estimate for fourth-quarter EPS is pegged at 21 cents.

Algonquin Power & Utilities’ long-term earnings growth is currently pegged at 8.7%. The Zacks consensus estimate for AQN earnings in 2022 implies 4.5% year-over-year growth.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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