NiSource Inc (NI) - A Natural Flow of Dividends

Gas distribution company NiSource Inc. yields a hefty 5.75% in dividends.

As the global economy begins to chug back into gear, energy demands are on the up and one of the stocks which could benefit from this is NiSource Inc (NI).

NiSource (NI) through various subsidiaries delivers energy to 3.8m customers located within the high-demand energy corridor which runs from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England. According to subsidiary Bay State Gas, natural gas satisfies 24% of the US and this is expected to grow as a number of new pipelines are brought onboard.

Shareholders can also score from this natural gas energy play as the company is also a good dividend payer with an indicated dividend yield of around 5.75%.

While dividends have slipped from the levels enjoyed in 2001, shareholders have enjoyed 92c every year since 2004 and the company is on track to repeat that again this year.

When the company reported quarterly results in early May, President and Chief Executive Officer Robert C. Skaggs, Jr. said, "Our first quarter performance is squarely in line with our 2010 earnings outlook and reflects our balanced plan of synchronizing infrastructure investments with complementary regulatory and commercial activities.

The company reported net operating earnings from continuing operations of $198.3m, or 72 cents per share for the first quarter ended 31 March 2010.

Skaggs also pointed out that the company's fortunes were linked to the rebounding industrial economy. He advised shareholders: "Although it is too early to identify a definitive trend, we continue to see a gradual and modest pace of economic recovery across the markets served by our utilities.

With the company seeking to grow long-terms earnings by between 3 and 5% per annum, and demand for cleaner natural energy on the up, even better dividends could follow.

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