) board of directors approved a 4.2% hike in its quarterly
dividend rate to 25 cents per share from the prior payout of 24
cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Aug 20, 2013 to
shareholders of record as of Jul 31, 2013. This will bring the
new annualized dividend to $1.00 per share from 96 cents
In 2012, NiSource had announced a target to increase the
dividend annually in a band of 3% to 5%. The utility major said
it intended to return 60%-70% of net adjusted earnings as
dividends to its shareholders.
NiSource's prior quarterly dividend increase of 4.3% was
announced in May 2012. The company has been paying healthy
dividends since 1999. The recent acceleration confirms the
company's commitment towards boosting shareholder value.
NiSource's confidence reflects its lofty long-term projects
worth $30 billion and infrastructure-expansion steps that will
ensure earnings growth in the range of 5% to 7%. This will be
further reinforced by the company's favorable investment-grade
The company continues to maintain a strong cash balance and
the hike will require an extra payment of $3.1 million. At the
end of Mar 31, 2013, the company's cash balance shot up a
whopping 179.3% to $101.4 million from $36.3 million at the end
of Dec 31, 2012. Also, the company's robust liquidity position
will enable it to pay the extra amount with ease.
NiSource's current annual dividend yield of 3.4% is
substantially higher than the industry average yield. This will
certainly make the stock look attractive and capture investor
attention. Currently the company carries a Zacks Rank #3
Other utility majors that have recently upped their dividend
DTE Energy Holding Company
Spectra Energy Corporation
Duke Energy Corporation
Based in Merrillville, Ind., NiSource together with its
subsidiaries provides natural gas, electricity, and other
products and services in territories of Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Indiana, and Massachusetts.
DTE ENERGY CO (DTE): Free Stock Analysis
DUKE ENERGY CP (DUK): Free Stock Analysis
NISOURCE INC (NI): Free Stock Analysis Report
SPECTRA ENERGY (SE): Free Stock Analysis
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