Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSC) Short Interest Up 24.7% in April


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Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSC) saw a significant growth in short interest during the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 3,180,000 shares, a growth of 24.7% from the March 31st total of 2,550,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,160,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.7 days. Currently, 1.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Several research analysts have commented on the stock. Credit Suisse Group dropped their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern from $283.00 to $271.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, January 28th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their target price on shares of Norfolk Southern from $234.00 to $254.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 29th. Cowen boosted their target price on shares of Norfolk Southern from $224.00 to $254.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 28th. Evercore ISI reissued an “in-line” rating on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Wednesday, March 3rd. Finally, Argus boosted their target price on shares of Norfolk Southern from $275.00 to $310.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $259.24.

Norfolk Southern stock traded up $4.62 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $287.68. The stock had a trading volume of 1,311,281 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,170,335. The company has a market cap of $71.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.02, a PEG ratio of 3.09 and a beta of 1.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 1.29 and a quick ratio of 1.16. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $271.68 and its 200-day moving average price is $248.06. Norfolk Southern has a 52 week low of $157.48 and a 52 week high of $288.07.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 28th. The railroad operator reported $2.66 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.55 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $2.64 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.62 billion. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 20.27% and a return on equity of 15.83%. The firm’s revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $2.58 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Norfolk Southern will post 9.1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, May 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 7th will be issued a $0.99 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 6th. This represents a $3.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.38%. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.30%.

In related news, EVP Ann A. Adams sold 2,460 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $255.00, for a total value of $627,300.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 9,601 shares in the company, valued at $2,448,255. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in NSC. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern during the fourth quarter valued at about $592,504,000. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 11.4% in the 4th quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 8,773,852 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,084,755,000 after buying an additional 897,259 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 5.7% in the 4th quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 15,970,452 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $3,794,739,000 after buying an additional 867,636 shares during the period. Magellan Asset Management Ltd increased its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 600,172.6% in the 4th quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd now owns 570,259 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $135,499,000 after buying an additional 570,164 shares during the period. Finally, FIL Ltd increased its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 54.8% in the 4th quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 1,182,275 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $280,920,000 after buying an additional 418,486 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.25% of the company’s stock.

About Norfolk Southern

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 industrial products, including agriculture, forest and consumer products, chemicals, and metals and construction materials; and coal, automobiles, and automotive parts.

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