Time To Sell Or More Gains Ahead? – NiSource Inc. (NI), HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc. (HTGM)

NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) shares are -23.17% down in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved -3.47% or -$0.77 lower in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +9.36% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -29.78% down YTD and -15.52% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is -5.94% and -10.80% over the month.

Analyst Recommendations

On April 24, 2020, Jefferies recommended the NI stock is a Hold, while earlier, BofA/Merrill had Downgrade the stock as a Neutral on April 30, 2020. 14 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 2.10 to suggest that the NI stock is a “Moderate Buy. 0 of the 14 analysts rate the stock as a “Sell”, while 0 has rated it as “Underweight”. 8 recommend buying, with 1 rating it as an Overweight.

The stock currently trades at $21.39 and analysts tracking its performance over the next 12 months have a consensus estimate price target of $26.25. The forecasts give the NiSource Inc. stock a price target range of $28.00 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $24.00. The two limits represent an upside potential of 23.61% or 10.87%.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to increase 62.50% in the current quarter to $0.03, up from the $0 reported in the same quarter a year ago. For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of $1.29, up 2.10% from $1.32 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between -$1.48 and $0.42. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of $1.34 for the next year.

Insider Transactions Summary

According to SEC data, total insider shares purchases at the company stands at 38 over the last 12 months, while SEC filings reveal that there have been 15 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 522,757 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 164,247. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 8,325 and 0 in purchases and sales respectively.

Surface Suzanne K., a Chief Services Officer at the company, sold 7,407 shares worth $0.21 million at $28.75 per share on Mar 04. The VP & Chief Accounting Officer had earlier sold another 12,650 NI shares valued at $0.38 million on Mar 04. The shares were sold at $29.66 per share. Hightman Carrie J (EVP & Chief Legal Officer) sold 11,696 shares at $29.50 per share on Mar 04 for a total of $0.35 million while Vegas Pablo, (EVP & President, Gas Utilities) sold 11,148 shares on Mar 02 for $0.3 million with each share fetching $27.02.

HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ:HTGM), on the other hand, is trading around $0.35 with a market cap of $24.58M and analyst research firms have a negative stance on its shares. Some analysts are even forecasting -$0.32 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

Let us briefly look at the HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc. (HTGM) financials, with a focus on its operating details as indicated in its earnings report for the last quarter.

Company balance sheet and cash flow

HTGM’s operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $6.96 million. This represented a -254.71% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $1.96 million. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS declined -$0.09 on the year-over-year period, shrinking to -$0.17 as given in the last earnings report.

In terms of the balance sheet & cash flow as of (Sep 2020), the total assets figure advanced to $39.3 million from $41.93 million over the previous quarter. Short term investments amounted to $11.85 million while total current assets were at $36.5 million. The cash flow from operating activities totaled -$8.38 million, significantly higher than the -$8.77 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was -$8.71 million.

Insider activity

Insiders have transacted a total of 13 times at HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc. over the last 6 months, with insider purchases undertaken 5 times and accounting for 4,905 shares. Insider sales totaled 7,024 shares over the same period, with these deals completed in 8 transactions. Looking at these numbers, we realize that net purchases over that period are -3.0 shares. Insiders now hold a total of 5.47M shares after the latest sales, with 0.10% net shares purchased.

Major holders

Insiders own 0.80% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 34.30% with a share float percentage of 49.64M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc. having a total of 42 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are Nantahala Capital Management, LLC with over 5.06 million shares worth more than $3.64 million. As of Jun 29, 2020, Nantahala Capital Management, LLC held 7.16% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Cowen Prime Services LLC, with the investment firm holding over 4.58 million shares as of Jun 29, 2020. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $3.3 million and represent 6.48% of shares outstanding.