Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) Reaches New 1-Year High Following Analyst Upgrade


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Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSC)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Tuesday after Argus raised their price target on the stock from $275.00 to $310.00. Argus currently has a buy rating on the stock. Norfolk Southern traded as high as $288.07 and last traded at $287.68, with a volume of 1311281 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $283.06.

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Evercore ISI reiterated an “in-line” rating on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Wednesday, March 3rd. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $250.00 to $285.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. TD Securities upped their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $305.00 to $315.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 29th. Citigroup Inc. 3% Minimum Coupon Principal Protected Based Upon Russell upped their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $250.00 to $290.00 in a research note on Monday, January 11th. Finally, Cowen boosted their target price on Norfolk Southern from $224.00 to $254.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, January 28th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $259.24.

In other news, EVP Ann A. Adams sold 2,460 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, February 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $255.00, for a total value of $627,300.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 9,601 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,448,255. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. IHT Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Norfolk Southern in the 3rd quarter valued at $603,000. Sei Investments Co. increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 1.2% in the 3rd quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 121,200 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $26,028,000 after buying an additional 1,378 shares in the last quarter. Thomasville National Bank increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 1.9% in the 4th quarter. Thomasville National Bank now owns 3,154 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $750,000 after buying an additional 60 shares in the last quarter. Private Trust Co. NA increased its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 84.9% during the 4th quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 5,505 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,308,000 after purchasing an additional 2,527 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services increased its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 2.0% during the 4th quarter. First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services now owns 6,411 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,524,000 after purchasing an additional 128 shares in the last quarter. 67.25% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $271.68 and a 200-day simple moving average of $248.06. The stock has a market cap of $71.99 billion, a P/E 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 quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.29.

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

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

About Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC)

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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