NiSource Inc. corporate headquarters is shown in Merrillville.

Merrillville-based NiSource Inc. has offered the second-best return for investors of any publicly-traded company headquartered in Indiana over the last five years, a new study found.

A Financial Technology company known as SmartAsset looked at stock prices, dividends, and volatility between January 2011 and March 2016. NiSource, the parent company of NIPSCO, came in second with a stock performance index of 83.26. 

It was narrowly-edged out by Patrick Industries Inc., which manufactures parts for RVs and mobile homes. The Elkhart-based company posted an Indiana-best stock performance index of 83.26.

Over the last five years, NiSource has had an average annual return of 30.74 percent and volatility of only 19.12 percent, SmartAsset found. Only Patrick had a higher annual return, of 98.03 percent.

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The midcap utility holding company was the only on from Northwest Indiana on the list. Evansville-based Vectren, Indianapolis-based Simon, and Evansville-based Berry Plastics Group rounded out the top five.

SmartAsset's study looked at NiSource stock both before and after it split into two companies in June 2015, spinning off 1,500 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines from the core utility business into the newly created Columbia Pipeline Group. Calgary-based energy giant TransCanada bought the Columbia Pipeline Group, which had previously been the faster-growing part of NiSource's business, for $13 billion earlier this year.


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.