Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSC – Get Rating) has been given an average rating of “Moderate Buy” by the nineteen brokerages that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, six have given a hold recommendation and nine have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month target price among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $299.89.
Several equity analysts have recently commented on NSC shares. Citigroup lowered shares of Norfolk Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $345.00 to $260.00 in a research report on Thursday, May 19th. Susquehanna Bancshares lowered their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $356.00 to $350.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 7th. StockNews.com started coverage on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Susquehanna lowered their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $356.00 to $350.00 and set a “positive” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 7th. Finally, TD Securities raised their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $300.00 to $305.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 28th.
NSC stock opened at $228.55 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.87. Norfolk Southern has a 1-year low of $219.31 and a 1-year high of $299.20. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $239.76 and a two hundred day moving average price of $262.92. The firm has a market cap of $54.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.45, a PEG ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.37.
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC – Get Rating) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 27th. The railroad operator reported $2.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.91 by $0.02. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 26.58% and a return on equity of 21.95%. The firm had revenue of $2.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.83 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.66 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect that Norfolk Southern will post 13.9 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Norfolk Southern announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Tuesday, March 29th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the railroad operator to repurchase up to 14.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Share repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 6th were issued a $1.24 dividend. This represents a $4.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.17%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 5th. Norfolk Southern’s payout ratio is 40.03%.
In other Norfolk Southern news, CEO Alan H. Shaw sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $241.84, for a total value of $241,840.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 34,255 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,284,229.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.31% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Equitable Trust Co. raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 1.7% during the 4th quarter. Equitable Trust Co. now owns 2,261 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $674,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the period. First Bank & Trust raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 2.9% during the 4th quarter. First Bank & Trust now owns 1,369 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $407,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the period. Foster & Motley Inc. raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 2.9% during the 4th quarter. Foster & Motley Inc. now owns 1,377 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $410,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the period. Centric Wealth Management raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 1.3% during the 1st quarter. Centric Wealth Management now owns 3,025 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $863,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the period. Finally, Wetherby Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 0.6% during the 4th quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,382 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,900,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the period. 73.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
About Norfolk Southern: (Get Rating)
Norfolk Southern Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods in the United States. The company transports agriculture, forest, and consumer products comprising soybeans, wheat, corn, fertilizers, livestock and poultry feed, food products, food oils, flour, sweeteners, ethanol, lumber and wood products, pulp board and paper products, wood fibers, wood pulp, scrap paper, beverages, canned goods, and consumer products; chemicals consist of sulfur and related chemicals, petroleum products, chlorine and bleaching compounds, plastics, rubber, industrial chemicals, chemical wastes, and sand; metals and construction materials, such as steel, aluminum products, machinery, scrap metals, cement, aggregates, minerals, clay, transportation equipment, and military-related products; and automotive, including finished motor vehicles and automotive parts, as well as coal.
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